[reportlab-users] Custom page lengths

Peter Cock p.j.a.cock at googlemail.com
Tue Apr 12 12:55:51 EDT 2016

On Tue, Apr 12, 2016 at 5:40 PM, Tim Roberts <timr at probo.com> wrote:
> Glenn Linderman wrote:
>> Nearly every device has some sort of PDF viewer; multiple screen size
>> abound.
>> Already coded: formatting the data to different widths so that it is easier
>> to read on various devices from cell phone to tablets, with reasonable font
>> sizes and not needed to scroll sideways.
> I need to point out that this is completely contrary to the stated purposes
> of PDF.  A PDF document is supposed to be the same everywhere.  It is not
> supposed to depend on the viewing device.  That's exactly what the "P" is
> for.  What happens when  your phone users try to route their document to a
> printer?  Are they going to get 10 words per page?
> I can't help but think that you should be using HTML for this, not PDF.

I've done this with ReportLab in order to produce graphs at the same printed
scale where the data changed (e.g. more samples, different window). This
was actually very useful when embedding a small PDF figure in a larger
document (e.g. writing a Scientific paper with LaTeX).

Essentially I just set the page size based on the data - knowing how the
graph would be constructed and therefore how much space I needed.
However, I was using drawing primitives etc so this may not make sense
in your context Glenn?

During this work I discovered a 5m by 5m limit in the PDF or Adobe viewer,
even with small fonts and zooming I was pushing the limits of a static
rendering ;)

And yes, P for Portable - this was an effective way to share the graphics
with colleagues and worked very well (this was some years back, SVG
was not a viable option yet).

(Being serious, Tim is making a good point about there being downsides
to preparing custom PDF output for different screen sizes)



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