One of the trickier things when dealing with PDF document creation is typography. By default, the PDF typography handling in Xojo’s PDFDocument class includes the “standard 14“, 14 typefaces you can use freely without requiring them to be included as part of the document itself. This guarantees a very important thing: any user can open and view that PDF document as it was created, without the text suffering from typography substitution, style lost, variations in kerning and tracking, etc. The standard 14 include Times, Courier, Helvetica, Symbol and Zapf Dingbats.
Xojo 2020r1 brings a highly requested feature to the Xojo IDE: the ability to create PDF documents from code! Now you can use the already familiar methods in Xojo’s Graphics class to create Standard PDF 1.4 documents with the PDFDocument class.
Monkeybread Software started with the DynaPDF plugin for Xojo about twelve years ago. As DynaPDF is a C++ library, the wrapping plugin mimics the original C API and offers it for Xojo. Over the years a lot more convenient methods have been added to make the plugin more Xojo-like. For example, newer methods can process pictures directly, take colors as Xojo color values and allow drawing of styled text directly.
Since the early days there has been the feature request to use the graphics class in Xojo to draw to a PDF document. We recently came back to this old feature request and decided to try a new way to implement it and our new code seems to work just fine. With some help from Xojo engineers, we even got the alignment right.
I’ve heard it several times: how can I export to PDF from Xojo? Sure, there are lots of answers pointing to a bunch of resources, including excellent plug-ins from third parties. But can you accomplish the same thing using an already available API? Yes, there is a remote API for that! The requirement is that your Xojo app will need to have access to Internet … and, of course, you’ll need to do just a bit of coding.