This seems unlikely. I've always wondered why people think generating a spooled file is a good way to make a PDF?

I certainly understand that most shops have tons of existing programs generating spooled files. This is very understandable, and the ability to override this to a PDF is a great help, we can easily adapt these programs to PDF format. Cool stuff.

But, for new applications?! If you are designing a program with the goal of making a PDF (not a spooled file), it seems like putting it in a spool and converting it is a poor way. Just as if you want a web application, outputting a green-screen and using a screen-scraper is a poor way.

You are limited to what the spooled file can do. Spooled files have some rudimentary support for graphics, fonts, colors, etc... but NOTHING by comparison to what PDF supports. Why limit yourself to what the spool can do?! Create it as a PDF to begin with... way more powerful.

In my shop, we have purchased a tool called PDFLib from -- it's a set of APIs (native ILE routines) you can call from your RPG programs (or other ILE programs) to generate a PDF file directly, and you can use all of PDFs capabilities... images, graphics -- and presumably hyperlinks -- are no problem at all. We use it to generate stuff like quotes, invoices, etc.. works great.

There's also a set of Java classes called itext that could do this -- no direct experience with this, but other people have called that from RPG and found it works well. Personally, I avoid Java when I can find a good alternative... but it's something you might consider, too.

Anyway, I don't know of any way to do this with just making a spool and overriding it to PDF. That would only be possible if the spooled file had it's own option to designate something as a URL, so that this could be converted to the PDF language for a URL -- and i don't think any such support exists. I'm no expert here, I just doubt this is possible.

Food for thought?

On 10/13/2015 6:41 PM, James H. H. Lampert wrote:
Ladies and Gentlemen:

Got this one from a customer for whom I'm building a quoting system
within our CRM product:

A web URL in the text of a document, even without the http:// prefix
required for implicit links in most email readers, will be recognized as
an implicit hyperlink to the web site in Acrobat, Adobe Reader, and some
other programs that can display PDFs. But evidently not all of them, at
least not on all platforms.

Is it possible, when generating a PDF via an OVRPRTF, using an
externally described printer file, to create EXPLICIT hyperlinks?

(And yes, I know, I just ran the test myself: even an explicit
hyperlink, created in Acrobat, is not recognized or processed by all
applications that can display PDFs.)


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