July 14th, 2004, 08:45
I'm trying to streamline the document creation flow at work and I'm looking for a web-application that will help out. I realize that I may end up having to re-learn PHP and just write it myself, but the whole point of this excercise is to try and free up my time, not swamp me even further. :silly:

Ideally, what I'd like to find is a system that allows me to define different types of documents (Proposal, ROI Analysis, etc) and then offer templates (including some of the document text) for those documents. The user selects which type of document and perhaps has a few fields where he/she can define the name of the vendor/product/service, etc, and then is presented with page 2, consisting of text-input boxes.

There are two boxes per heading topic, the top already populated with the general information that has to be in every report (but still editable). This will include $vendorname or whatever else was defined in page 1. The bottom box will be for entering any customized information per that heading topic. There should also be an "insert images" option (with a caption) for each heading section and once the user has attached an image, another box appears (allowing further image insertion per heading).

Finally, I want the app to spit out a preview of the generated document and once the user confirms, a PDF should be made that includes a table of contents based on the locations of headings and images.

If anyone knows of a project like this, I would be ever so grateful. Otherwise... *dusts off copy of PHP for dummies*

July 15th, 2004, 14:24
Couldnt you do this with a server share with read-only office/openoffice documents? Both windows and linux versions of Openoffice support wrting to pdf format (via printers).

July 15th, 2004, 14:37
That's a good idea, and one that I've been leaning towards more and more as I realize the complexity of creating all this from scratch (especially for a PHP newb like myself). I'll have to take a very close look at this possibility. Also, in the process of looking for this application, I discovered a great little tool over on SourceForge for PDF making. It installs as a printer and allows any application to generate PDFs. Link: