Fog Creek Software
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UI for Database that prints to pre-printed forms

I am presently working on a database program whereby an end user may apply and print database values to a number of preselected pre-printed forms. To this end, the end user selects a view containing only those fields that are to be printed to the pre-printed form. With this in mind and as long as the database field values print to the preprinted forms as intended, is it important or even necessary to provide the end user with a WYSIWUG preview? I mention this as it may be difficult to provide a background image of the pre-printed form showing the database field values prior to printing. Any suggestions or comments regarding this subject matter are appreciated.

Marty Potokar
Tuesday, December 10, 2002

What works well on paper doesn't necessarily work well on computer. For one thing, I think it'd be hard to display a whole 8.5x11 size paper on a screen well. If the customer demands a WYSIWYG interface, give it to them, but otherwise, I'd personally prefer not.

Mike Swieton
Wednesday, December 11, 2002

Recommend using PDF for prinint.  I've Used iText with JSPs to generate PDFs and it works fairly Well.

Adam Young
Wednesday, December 11, 2002

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