[reportlab-users] Making Forms

Tim Roberts reportlab-users@reportlab.com
Fri, 17 Jan 2003 09:28:39 -0800

I have to design a rather complicated form (a traditional paper form, NOT an 
Acrobat form) for use by a national convention.  One of the constraints is that 
the form has to be partly based on the work of PREVIOUS conventions, so that 
delegates aren't confused with something brand new.  I've been struggling with 
Visio, trying to get it exactly the way I want, but it wasn't right, and it 
certainly wasn't easy.

I decided to give it a shot in ReportLab, since I've had such good luck with it 
elsewhere.  After designing a few classes to do checkboxes and other fill-in 
fields in an automated way, I'm pleased to say the results are excellent.  I 
have much more flexibility than with Visio, I have the ability to tweak things 
to a microscopic degree, and most importantly, I have the ability to reuse 
parts of the page without having to reinvent the wheel each time.  I was even 
able to integrate a bit of Platypus to do some flowed text on the back page.

The back of the form is not quite finished yet, and I'm sure we will need to 
tweak the fonts for consistancy, but if you're curious to see what can be 
accomplished with 800 lines of Python/ReportLab/Platypus, look at 

Thank you for a fabulously useful product.

- Tim Roberts, timr@probo.com
  Providenza & Boekelheide, Inc.