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Last updated: Tue, 19 Sep 2006

XIII. ClibPDF Functions


ClibPDF lets you create PDF documents with PHP. ClibPDF functionality and API are similar to PDFlib. This documentation should be read alongside the ClibPDF manual since it explains the library in much greater detail.

Many functions in the native ClibPDF and the PHP module, as well as in PDFlib, have the same name. All functions except for cpdf_open() take the handle for the document as their first parameter.

Currently this handle is not used internally since ClibPDF does not support the creation of several PDF documents at the same time. Actually, you should not even try it, the results are unpredictable. I can't oversee what the consequences in a multi threaded environment are. According to the author of ClibPDF this will change in one of the next releases (current version when this was written is 1.10). If you need this functionality use the pdflib module.

A nice feature of ClibPDF (and PDFlib) is the ability to create the pdf document completely in memory without using temporary files. It also provides the ability to pass coordinates in a predefined unit length. (This feature can also be simulated by pdf_translate() when using the PDFlib functions.)

Another nice feature of ClibPDF is the fact that any page can be modified at any time even if a new page has been already opened. The function cpdf_set_current_page() allows to leave the current page and presume modifying an other page.

Most of the functions are fairly easy to use. The most difficult part is probably creating a very simple PDF document at all. The following example should help you to get started. It creates a document with one page. The page contains the text "Times-Roman" in an outlined 30pt font. The text is underlined.

Note: This extension has been moved to the PECL repository and is no longer bundled with PHP as of PHP 5.1.0.

Note: If you're interested in alternative free PDF generators that do not utilize external PDF libraries, see this related FAQ.


In order to use the ClibPDF functions you need to install the ClibPDF package. It is available for download from FastIO, but requires that you purchase a license for commercial use. PHP requires that you use cpdflib >= 2.


To get these functions to work, you have to compile PHP with --with-cpdflib[=DIR]. DIR is the cpdflib install directory, defaults to /usr. In addition you can specify the jpeg library and the tiff library for ClibPDF to use. To do so add to your configure line the options --with-jpeg-dir[=DIR] --with-tiff-dir[=DIR].

Runtime Configuration

This extension has no configuration directives defined in php.ini.

Predefined Constants

The constants below are defined by this extension, and will only be available when the extension has either been compiled into PHP or dynamically loaded at runtime.

CPDF_PM_NONE (integer)


CPDF_PM_THUMBS (integer)


CPDF_PL_SINGLE (integer)

CPDF_PL_1COLUMN (integer)

CPDF_PL_2LCOLUMN (integer)

CPDF_PL_2RCOLUMN (integer)


Example 1. Simple ClibPDF Example

$cpdf = cpdf_open(0);
cpdf_page_init($cpdf, 1, 0, 595, 842, 1.0);
cpdf_add_outline($cpdf, 0, 0, 0, 1, "Page 1");
cpdf_set_font($cpdf, "Times-Roman", 30, "WinAnsiEncoding");
cpdf_set_text_rendering($cpdf, 1);
cpdf_text($cpdf, "Times Roman outlined", 50, 50);
cpdf_moveto($cpdf, 50, 50);
cpdf_lineto($cpdf, 740, 330);
cpdf_finalize_page($cpdf, 1);
Header("Content-type: application/pdf");

The pdflib distribution contains a more complex example which creates a series of pages with an analog clock. Here is that example converted into PHP using the ClibPDF extension:

Example 2. pdfclock example from pdflib 2.0 distribution

$radius = 200;
$margin = 20;
$pagecount = 40;

$pdf = cpdf_open(0);
cpdf_set_creator($pdf, "pdf_clock.php");
cpdf_set_title($pdf, "Analog Clock");
while ($pagecount-- > 0) {
  cpdf_page_init($pdf, $pagecount+1, 0, 2 * ($radius + $margin), 2 * ($radius + $margin), 1.0);
  cpdf_set_page_animation($pdf, 4, 0.5, 0, 0, 0);  /* wipe */
  cpdf_translate($pdf, $radius + $margin, $radius + $margin);
  cpdf_setrgbcolor($pdf, 0.0, 0.0, 1.0);
  /* minute strokes */
  cpdf_setlinewidth($pdf, 2.0);
  for ($alpha = 0; $alpha < 360; $alpha += 6) {
    cpdf_rotate($pdf, 6.0);
    cpdf_moveto($pdf, $radius, 0.0);
    cpdf_lineto($pdf, $radius-$margin/3, 0.0);
  /* 5 minute strokes */
  cpdf_setlinewidth($pdf, 3.0);
  for ($alpha = 0; $alpha < 360; $alpha += 30) {
    cpdf_rotate($pdf, 30.0);
    cpdf_moveto($pdf, $radius, 0.0);
    cpdf_lineto($pdf, $radius-$margin, 0.0);

  $ltime = getdate();

  /* draw hour hand */
  cpdf_rotate($pdf, -(($ltime['minutes']/60.0) + $ltime['hours'] - 3.0) * 30.0);
  cpdf_moveto($pdf, -$radius/10, -$radius/20);
  cpdf_lineto($pdf, $radius/2, 0.0);
  cpdf_lineto($pdf, -$radius/10, $radius/20);

  /* draw minute hand */
  cpdf_rotate($pdf, -(($ltime['seconds']/60.0) + $ltime['minutes'] - 15.0) * 6.0);
  cpdf_moveto($pdf, -$radius/10, -$radius/20);
  cpdf_lineto($pdf, $radius * 0.8, 0.0);
  cpdf_lineto($pdf, -$radius/10, $radius/20);

  /* draw second hand */
  cpdf_setrgbcolor($pdf, 1.0, 0.0, 0.0);
  cpdf_setlinewidth($pdf, 2);
  cpdf_rotate($pdf, -(($ltime['seconds'] - 15.0) * 6.0));
  cpdf_moveto($pdf, -$radius/5, 0.0);
  cpdf_lineto($pdf, $radius, 0.0);

  /* draw little circle at center */
  cpdf_circle($pdf, 0, 0, $radius/30);


  cpdf_finalize_page($pdf, $pagecount+1);

Header("Content-type: application/pdf");

See Also

See also the PDFlib extension documentation.

Table of Contents
cpdf_add_annotation -- Adds annotation
cpdf_add_outline -- Adds bookmark for current page
cpdf_arc -- Draws an arc
cpdf_begin_text -- Starts text section
cpdf_circle -- Draw a circle
cpdf_clip -- Clips to current path
cpdf_close -- Closes the pdf document
cpdf_closepath_fill_stroke -- Close, fill and stroke current path
cpdf_closepath_stroke -- Close path and draw line along path
cpdf_closepath -- Close path
cpdf_continue_text -- Output text in next line
cpdf_curveto -- Draws a curve
cpdf_end_text -- Ends text section
cpdf_fill_stroke -- Fill and stroke current path
cpdf_fill -- Fill current path
cpdf_finalize_page -- Ends page
cpdf_finalize -- Ends document
cpdf_global_set_document_limits -- Sets document limits for any pdf document
cpdf_import_jpeg -- Opens a JPEG image
cpdf_lineto -- Draws a line
cpdf_moveto -- Sets current point
cpdf_newpath -- Starts a new path
cpdf_open -- Opens a new pdf document
cpdf_output_buffer -- Outputs the pdf document in memory buffer
cpdf_page_init -- Starts new page
cpdf_place_inline_image -- Places an image on the page
cpdf_rect -- Draw a rectangle
cpdf_restore -- Restores formerly saved environment
cpdf_rlineto -- Draws a line
cpdf_rmoveto -- Sets current point
cpdf_rotate_text --  Sets text rotation angle
cpdf_rotate -- Sets rotation
cpdf_save_to_file -- Writes the pdf document into a file
cpdf_save -- Saves current environment
cpdf_scale -- Sets scaling
cpdf_set_action_url --  Sets hyperlink
cpdf_set_char_spacing -- Sets character spacing
cpdf_set_creator -- Sets the creator field in the pdf document
cpdf_set_current_page -- Sets current page
cpdf_set_font_directories --  Sets directories to search when using external fonts
cpdf_set_font_map_file --  Sets fontname to filename translation map when using external fonts
cpdf_set_font -- Select the current font face and size
cpdf_set_horiz_scaling -- Sets horizontal scaling of text
cpdf_set_keywords -- Sets the keywords field of the pdf document
cpdf_set_leading -- Sets distance between text lines
cpdf_set_page_animation -- Sets duration between pages
cpdf_set_subject -- Sets the subject field of the pdf document
cpdf_set_text_matrix -- Sets the text matrix
cpdf_set_text_pos -- Sets text position
cpdf_set_text_rendering -- Determines how text is rendered
cpdf_set_text_rise -- Sets the text rise
cpdf_set_title -- Sets the title field of the pdf document
cpdf_set_viewer_preferences --  How to show the document in the viewer
cpdf_set_word_spacing -- Sets spacing between words
cpdf_setdash -- Sets dash pattern
cpdf_setflat -- Sets flatness
cpdf_setgray_fill -- Sets filling color to gray value
cpdf_setgray_stroke -- Sets drawing color to gray value
cpdf_setgray -- Sets drawing and filling color to gray value
cpdf_setlinecap -- Sets linecap parameter
cpdf_setlinejoin -- Sets linejoin parameter
cpdf_setlinewidth -- Sets line width
cpdf_setmiterlimit -- Sets miter limit
cpdf_setrgbcolor_fill -- Sets filling color to rgb color value
cpdf_setrgbcolor_stroke -- Sets drawing color to rgb color value
cpdf_setrgbcolor -- Sets drawing and filling color to rgb color value
cpdf_show_xy -- Output text at position
cpdf_show -- Output text at current position
cpdf_stringwidth -- Returns width of text in current font
cpdf_stroke -- Draw line along path
cpdf_text -- Output text with parameters
cpdf_translate -- Sets origin of coordinate system

Last updated: Tue, 19 Sep 2006