How to generate PDF file from MySQL table with PHP?


The PDF extension of PHP (PDFlib) provides the required functionality for generating PDF files.

The following sample code demonstrates how a PDF file can be created and filled with information retrieved from database:

<?php require_once('Connections/cnnTest.php'); ?>
// select data from database for the PDF
mysql_select_db($database_cnnTest, $cnnTest);
$query_rsReportData = "SELECT * FROM categories";
$rsReportData = mysql_query($query_rsReportData, $cnnTest) or die(mysql_error());
$row_rsReportData = mysql_fetch_assoc($rsReportData);
$totalRows_rsReportData = mysql_num_rows($rsReportData);
// create handle for new PDF document
$pdf = pdf_new();

// open a file
pdf_open_file($pdf, "");

// Set Info
pdf_set_info($pdf, "Author", "Georgi Kralev");
pdf_set_info($pdf, "Title", "Report");
pdf_set_info($pdf, "Creator", "Georgi Kralev");
pdf_set_info($pdf, "Subject", "Report");

// start a new page (A4)
pdf_begin_page($pdf, 595, 842);

// path of your TTF font directory
$fontdir = "C:\WINDOWS\Fonts";

// Open .TTFs (true type fonts)

pdf_set_parameter($pdf, "FontOutline", "ArialItalic=$fontdir\ariali.ttf");
pdf_set_parameter($pdf, "FontOutline", "ArialBold=$fontdir\ARIALBD.TTF");
pdf_set_parameter($pdf, "FontOutline", "Arial=$fontdir\ARIAL.TTF");

// ------ Start output of the PDF Content ------//
// set the font - Arial Bold 15

$font = pdf_findfont($pdf, "ArialBold", "host",0); pdf_setfont($pdf, $font, 15); 
// output document title
pdf_show_xy($pdf, "Categories Report", 50, 788);
// draw a line
pdf_moveto($pdf, 20, 780);
pdf_lineto($pdf, 575, 780);

// set the font - Arial Italic 12
$font = pdf_findfont($pdf, "ArialItalic", "host",0); pdf_setfont($pdf, $font, 12);
$y = 750;
// output data header
pdf_show_xy($pdf, "Category:", 50, $y);
$y -= 5;

// set the font - Arial 10
$font = pdf_findfont($pdf, "Arial", "host",0); pdf_setfont($pdf, $font, 10);

// output the data from Database
      $y -= 15;
        pdf_show_xy($pdf, $row_rsReportData['name'], 50, $y);
($row_rsReportData = mysql_fetch_assoc($rsReportData));

// ------ End output of the PDF Content ------//

// end page

// close and save file

$buf = pdf_get_buffer($pdf);
$len = strlen($buf);

header("Content-type: application/pdf");
header("Content-Length: $len");
header("Content-Disposition: inline; filename=report.pdf");
echo $buf;


My connection file is called cnnTest.php. The table from which I get the data is called categories.
I use the PDF extension functions to create the pdf, fill document info, set the fonts and write the information from the column name of table categories.

1. In order the code to work, the following line in your php.ini has to be uncommented:
2. For more information about PDFlib library check: PDF Functions