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Printing Web Pages in FlashPaper or PDF Format with ColdFusion MX 7

Most of us, at one time or another, have experienced the poor result of printing web content from a browser. The page printout is ugly because the printer breaks the web content into pages with borders and edges. Trying to fix the HTML code with style sheets and other layout tricks still yields an unsatisfactory outcome. You, the ColdFusion developer, and your end users desperately need a solution for printing rich document formats.

Likewise, if you are on the road without Internet access and want to pass your work to a client who is outside your company firewall, you need a way to distribute documents easily.

You’ve already invested an enormous amount of time and resources setting up and publishing web pages and articles so they look just the way you want. You don’t want to rework them just to generate a rich document—you need an easy conversion tool.

If you have ever encountered any of the problems above, fear not. The ColdFusion team heard you.

Introducing the cfdocument tag. This new ColdFusion MX 7 feature takes your current HTML/CFML pages and converts them into Macromedia FlashPaper or Adobe PDF formats in seconds. Best of all, using this tag requires no learning curve. In this article, we explain how the ColdFusion team created this new functionality and how you can use it to create printable web documents.


Xu Chen and Sherman Gong developed this technology jointly. Xu designed the cfdocument architecture and provided the tag’s implementation and PDF output format. Sherman Gong provided the FlashPaper format support and font management, and worked on the links and anchors support with Xu. Hiroshi Okugawa and Collin Tobin provided quality assurance for the cfdocument tag and numerous other ColdFusion features.


To complete this tutorial you will need to install the following software and files:

ColdFusion MX 7

Prerequisite knowledge:

Familiarity with ColdFusion tag syntax