Hello and welcome to our community! Is this your first visit?
Register
Enjoy an ad free experience by logging in. Not a member yet? Register.
Results 1 to 6 of 6
  1. #1
    Regular Coder
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Location
    Northern Ireland
    Posts
    167
    Thanks
    12
    Thanked 6 Times in 6 Posts

    Thumbs up Looking for the best way to populate an offline form.

    Basically I have a paper based form (there is also a pdf version of it) that I would like to recreate online and populate with information from a database. With a view of then letting the user print out the form with all the information already completed.

    The form is quiet complex, so simply having a print preview of a webform populated with data is out of the question.

    Any ideas?

    The tools I have at my disposal are Dreamweaver (I thought maybe using their layering tools to knock something up, the code would be messy but the layout should be easy to tweak), Fireworks (I was wondering if there is a way to scan the form as an image, and slice it allowing room for the dynamic input).

    The server has PHP and MySQL installed on it.

  • #2
    Master Coder
    Join Date
    Jun 2003
    Location
    Cottage Grove, Minnesota
    Posts
    9,513
    Thanks
    8
    Thanked 1,090 Times in 1,081 Posts
    If you have the correct version of Adobe, you can actually create a PDF form
    that can be put online and it acts just like a real form. The results can be
    processed (emailed), etc.

    The PDF is written with form fields, and saved as a PDF, looks like a PDF and
    operates like an online web page form. Since Adobe is so expensive, there are
    other clones available...

    http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&s...rm&btnG=Search

    http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&s...rm&btnG=Search

    To see it work,
    View some of the forms from this website:
    http://www.copyright.gov/forms/


    .
    Last edited by mlseim; 09-09-2008 at 08:24 PM.

  • #3
    Regular Coder
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Location
    Northern Ireland
    Posts
    167
    Thanks
    12
    Thanked 6 Times in 6 Posts
    Quote Originally Posted by mlseim View Post
    If you have the correct version of Adobe, you can actually create a PDF form
    that can be put online and it acts just like a real form. The results can be
    processed (emailed), etc.

    The PDF is written with form fields, and saved as a PDF, looks like a PDF and
    operates like an online web page form. Since Adobe is so expensive, there are
    other clones available...

    http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&s...rm&btnG=Search

    http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&s...rm&btnG=Search

    To see it work,
    View some of the forms from this website:
    http://www.copyright.gov/forms/


    .
    Thanks, I will look into this!

  • #4
    Regular Coder
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Location
    Northern Ireland
    Posts
    167
    Thanks
    12
    Thanked 6 Times in 6 Posts
    Unfortunately these tools only allow a user to input information, there is no automated way for stuff from my database to get in there!

    I did find a tool from adobe that changes pdfs to html, but it doesn't seem to work.

    Any other ideas anyone?

  • #5
    Master Coder
    Join Date
    Jun 2003
    Location
    Cottage Grove, Minnesota
    Posts
    9,513
    Thanks
    8
    Thanked 1,090 Times in 1,081 Posts
    oh, sorry I missed the part about the database.

    You'll have to use PHP to dynamically create the form.
    If you had some fields in your database that indicated what
    type of question it was (text, checkbox, radio, etc) that might
    be of use. Without seeing any of the database, it might be
    hard for anyone to come up with some ideas on that.

    I'm just thinking you could have a PHP script that creates a
    form from any part of your database ... no static pages needed.

  • #6
    Regular Coder
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Location
    Northern Ireland
    Posts
    167
    Thanks
    12
    Thanked 6 Times in 6 Posts
    Creating the form and populating it isn't an issue, the problem is getting from that form on my site to a PDF.

    The PHP classes I have found can create new PDFs fine but they can't edit a PDF, I could just recreate one from scratch but then we have a layout issue.

    There was one program that took FDFs and made PDFs based on it, however it was never successfully installed on any webservers so that is out of the question.

    I have sent an email off to the company that handles the PDF at the end of the process to see if they would mind if the final sheet they get posted to them isn't an exact carbon copy, if not I should be able to use CSS to make the form look almost identical to the PDF and then problem solved!

    Cheers again for the input.


  •  

    Posting Permissions

    • You may not post new threads
    • You may not post replies
    • You may not post attachments
    • You may not edit your posts
    •