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Philip Norton's Blog:
Creating A Thumbnail Of A Word Document With PHP And LiveDocx
September 26, 2011 @ 08:50:42

In a new post to his blog Philip Norton shares a method for creating a thumbnail of a Word document with the help of PHP and LiveDocx (in this case, the component inside the Zend Framework).

Creating Word document icons is very simple thanks to a service called LiveDocx. LiveDocx was created as a web service to allow the easy creation of most document formats from a simple template. However, it is possible to send a normal Word document as the template file and get an image of the file in return.

You'll need a LiveDocx account to be able to use the service - there's a free option of their service that uses a shared server. Included in the post is a sample script that defines a LiveDocx connection, pulls in a local Word document for parsing and calls a "getBitmaps" method on the service to return the raw image data. This is pushed into an image (using GD) as a PNG.

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PHPFreaks.com:
Template based document generation using LiveDocx and Zend Framework
November 06, 2009 @ 12:56:32

On PHPFreaks.com there's a new tutorial posted today looking at combining the Zend Framework with the LiveDocx libraries to create PDF/DOCX/DOC/RTF documents based on simple templates.

Generating print-ready well-formatted PDF documents with PHP is not an easy task. Traditionally, there are two main approaches to PDF generation with PHP. Given sufficient time and patience, both partially get the job done, but still leave a lot to be desired. [...] In this article, the author presents an entirely new, third approach. It relies on templates being created in a WYSIWYG environment, such as Microsoft Word or Open Office, and then being populated with data in PHP. The resulting document can be saved not only to PDF, but also DOCX, DOC and RTF.

They include both an overview of the LiveDocx tool and some code samples to use a template made in Microsoft Word to generate a PDF file with dynamic values. They also include a bit about how to create dynamic images.

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