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    How to generate a PDF file

    This tutorial explains how to create a PDF document from a MS Word template with RunMyProcess. To create the template, you can use Word 2003 or 2010, it does not work with Word 2007.

    Configuration of the MS Word template

    • Download the XSL-FO converter spreadsheet

    • Launch the .exe file to extract the spreadsheet

    • Create a template with word 2003 or 2010.

    • Go to the "Save as" menu and select "Word 2003 XML document" in the "Save as type" option (if you are not using word 2003).

    • Select the option "Apply transform" and select the "Word2FO.xsl" style sheet you have just extracted (by default C:\Office Samples\OfficeWordWordMLtoXSL-FO\Word2FO.xsl)

    Creation of the variable used to generate the document

    In your process, create a variable that contains all the variables you want to use in your template with the following structure. In the following case, we use the variables var_1 and var_2 to create our PDF document

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    {"my_var_main":{"var_1":"value_1","var_2":"value_2","my_array"}}
    

    If you want to use an array of values to create your PDF document, use this syntax:

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    {"my_var_main":{"var_1":"value_1","var_2":"value_2","my_array":[{"name":"John","age":"35"},{"name":"Jessica","age":"28"}]}}
    

    Capturedecran_2012-09-19_a_16.59.21

    Configuration of the template

    • Open the template with a text editor and save it with a .xsl extension

    • Add the following lines before the <fo:root> element

    Code

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    <xsl:stylesheet version="1.1" xmlns:xsl="http://www.w3.org/1999/XSL/Transform" xmlns:fo="http://www.w3.org/1999/XSL/Format" exclude-result-prefixes="fo">
        <xsl:output method="xml" version="1.0" omit-xml-declaration="no" indent="yes"/>
        <xsl:template match="my_var_main">
    

    where my_var_main is the name of the main element of your JSON that contains all the variables you want to write in your documents.

    • Add the following lines add the end of the document, after the </fo:root> element

    Code

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        </xsl:template>  
    </xsl:stylesheet>
    
    • To add a variable in your template, add the following tag

    Code

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    <xsl:value-of select="var_1"/>
    

    where var_1 is the name of one of your variable

    • To add an array of variables, add the following tag to the main template

    Code

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    <xsl:apply-templates select="my_array"/>
    

    and create the template for each line of the array. To do so, add another tag with the content of a line of your array after the </xsl:template> tag of the main template. Here is an example of the template of a line

    Code

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    <xsl:template match="my_array">  
        <fo:table-row>  
            <fo:table-cell>  
                <fo:block>  
                    <xsl:value-of select="name"/>  
                </fo:block>  
            </fo:table-cell>  
            <fo:table-cell>  
                <fo:block>  
                    <xsl:value-of select="age"/>  
                </fo:block>  
            </fo:table-cell>  
        </fo:table-row>  
    </xsl:template>
    
    • you can also use the if function

    Code

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    <xsl:if test=&#39; age &gt; 30 &#39;>  
    ...some output if the expression is true...  
    </xsl:if>
    
    • for more details about the xsl functions, here is a tutorial.

    • if your array has more than one page and you want the header of the array to be displayed on top of each page, you just have to put the header of the array in a header tag. See the example below:

    Code

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    <fo:table>  
        <fo:table-column column-number="1" column-width="230.3pt" />  
        <fo:table-column column-number="2" column-width="230.3pt" />  
        <fo:table-header>  
            <fo:table-row>  
                <fo:table-cell>  
                    <fo:block>  
                        <fo:inline>
                            <fo:leader leader-length="0pt" />Column 1 title
                        </fo:inline>  
                    </fo:block>  
                </fo:table-cell>  
                <fo:table-cell>  
                    <fo:block>  
                        <fo:inline>
                            <fo:leader leader-length="0pt" />Column 2 title
                        </fo:inline>  
                    </fo:block>  
                </fo:table-cell>  
            </fo:table-row>  
        </fo:table-header>  
        <fo:table-body>  
            <xsl:apply-templates select="my_array"/>  
        </fo:table-body>  
    </fo:table>
    

    Configuration of the process to use your template

    • After the configuration of the template is done, upload it to RunMyProcess in Desktop -> Files
      Capturedecran_2012-09-19_a_16.59.21

    • In your process, select the activity type script
      Capturedecran_2012-09-19_a_15.52.37

    • In the script tab, select PDF Transformation
      Capturedecran_2012-09-19_a_15.53.48

    • Click on Uploaded XSL files and select your file
      Capturedecran_2012-09-19_a_15.54.58

    • In Data source, enter the name of the variable that contains all the variables you want to use to generate the PDF
      Capturedecran_2012-09-19_a_15.58.55

    • In the ouput parameters of the task, add a variable with the value ${P_result.id} to store the id of the file
      Capturedecran_2012-09-19_a_17.37.12

    The configuration is done!

    Example

    Here is an example of an XSL-FO template.

    Below you can find the structure of the variable used to generate the PDF file:

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    {"my_var_main":{"client_name":"My company","users_array":[{"name":"John","age":"35"},{"name":"Jessica","age":"28"},{"name":"James","age":"52"}]}}
    

    This template was use to generate this PDF file.

    Known issues

    The transformation of the .doc document to an xsl document has some issues.

    • The cells of the arrays may appear to be filled in black. If so, change the propertie background-color="black" of the <fo:table-cell> tags to background-color="white"

    • The header of the document may be overridden by the body of the document. To fix that, increase the height of the top margin of the documents. This property can be found as follows:

    Code

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    <fo:layout-master-set><fo:simple-page-master><master-name="section1-odd-page"> (and <master-name="section1-odd-page">)<fo:region-body margin-top="10pt">
    
    • The attribute font-family="Arial" for example does not work. Whichever the font-family specified into the template, it will display Times New Roman. However, if no font-family is specified anywhere into the template, it will display Arial.