PDF and XSL-FO export

PowerBuilder can save the DataWindow's data and presentation as a Portable Document Format (PDF) file using three techniques. By default, PowerBuilder saves as PDF using a distiller. PowerBuilder can also save to native PDF using PDFlib, or save to PDF or XSL Formatting Objects (XSL-FO) format using the Apache XML Formatting Objects processor.

Using the Ghostscript distiller

In order for users to use the SaveAs method to save data as PDF with the distiller, they must first download and install Ghostscript on their computers as described in the procedure that follows.

The use of GPL Ghostscript is subject to the terms and conditions of the GNU General Public License (GPL). Users should be asked to read the GPL before installing GPL Ghostscript on their computers. A copy of the GPL is available on the GNU Project Web server at http://www.gnu.org/licenses/gpl.html.

The use of AFPL Ghostscript is subject to the terms and conditions of the Aladdin Free Public License (AFPL). Commercial distribution of AFPL Ghostscript generally requires a written commercial license. For more information, see the Ghostscript website at https://www.ghostscript.com.

To install Ghostscript:

  1. Into a temporary directory on your computer, download the self-extracting executable file for the version of Ghostscript you want from one of the sites listed on the Ghostscript website at https://www.ghostscript.com/download/.

    See the Release Bulletin for the version of Ghostscript that was used for testing.

  2. Run the executable file to install Ghostscript on your system.

    The default installation directory is C:\Program Files\gs. You can select a different directory and/or choose to install shortcuts to the Ghostscript console and readme file.

After installing Ghostscript, you should read the readme.htm file in the doc subdirectory in the Ghostscript installation directory to find out more about using Ghostscript and distributing it with your application.

Save Rows As fails

To save as PDF in the DataWindow painter, select File>Save Rows As and select PDF as the Save As type. If you do not install Ghostscript and use the default export properties, PowerBuilder displays a pop-up window notifying you that Save Rows As failed. If you install Ghostscript and then change the name of the directory where Ghostscript is installed, Save Rows As PDF fails silently.

Location of files

When you save a DataWindow object as PDF using the Distill! method, PowerBuilder searches in the following locations for an installation of GPL or AFPL Ghostscript:

  • The Windows registry

  • The relative path of the pbdwe190.dll file (typically %Appeon%\Shared\PowerBuilder)

  • The system PATH environment variable

If GPL or AFPL Ghostscript is installed using the Ghostscript executable file, the path is added to the Windows registry.

If the Ghostscript files are in the relative path of the pbdwe190.dll file, they must be installed in this directory structure:


where dirname is the directory that contains the runtime DLLs and N.NN represents the release version number for Ghostscript.

You might not need to distribute all the fonts provided in the distribution. For information about fonts, see Fonts and font facilities supplied with Ghostscript at https://www.ghostscript.com/doc/current/Fonts.htm.

PostScript printer drivers

If your users have installed a PostScript printer on their computers, the PostScript driver files required to create PDF files, PSCRIPT5.DLL, PS5UI.DLL, and pscript.ntf, are already installed, typically in C:\Windows\System32\DriverStore\FileRepository\ntprint.inf_1a216484\Amd64 on a 64-bit Windows 7 system. Your users must use the version of these files that is appropriate to the operating system where the PDF file is created. They should copy the files to the dirname\drivers directory.

You must also deploy the related files that are installed in %Appeon%\Shared\PowerBuilder\drivers. These files can be copied to or installed on users' computers. They must be located in this directory structure:


PostScript printer profile

Each user's computer must have a PostScript printer profile called Sybase DataWindow PS. Users can add the profile manually using the Windows Add Printer wizard in one of the following ways:

  • By selecting a printer with PS in its name (such as "Apple Color LW 12/660 PS") from the list of printers on the Install Printer Software page of the wizard, and changing the printer name to "Sybase DataWindow PS" on the Name Your Printer page.

  • (For 32-bit Windows only) By clicking the Have Disk button on the Install Printer Software page of the wizard, browsing to the Adist5.inf file (installed with PowerBuilder in the %Appeon%\Shared\PowerBuilder\drivers directory) or to another PostScript driver file, and on the Name Your Printer page, changing the printer name to "Sybase DataWindow PS".

For how to set properties for the Distill! method, see the section called “Saving as PDF using the Distill! method with Ghostscript” in Users Guide.

Using the PDFlib generator

No drivers need to be installed in order to use the PDFlib generator to save DataWindow data as a native PDF file.

The DLL file for PDFlib (PBPDF190.dll) is automatically packaged into the PowerBuilder application executable without requiring the developer to make any configuration or selection during the building process.

By using the PDFlib generator, the DataWindow is first saved to EMF. Depending on the size of the DataWindow and also the specified page size, there may be multiple EMFs. For example, if a DataWindow has 8 columns that cannot fit in a page, maybe the first 3 columns are in page #1, and the other 5 columns in page #2; if the DataWindow has more data, and the data will go to page #3 (and page #4), page #5 (and page #6), and so on. The EMF files will then be converted and combined into one PDF. The EMF files are memory-based and will be deleted from memory after the successful generation of the PDF file.

During the PDF generation process, an "Appeon" folder (containing a "NativePDF" sub-folder which contains a "Log" and a "Temp" sub-folders) will be generated in the temporary directory; the temporary files in these folders will be deleted after the PDF file is created but the folders will be kept for future use.

For how to set PDFLib as the default PDF method and the other properties, see the section called “Saving as PDF using NativePDF! method with PDFlib” in Users Guide.

Using the Apache FO processor

If your application uses the Apache processor to save as PDF or XSL-FO, you must deploy the fop-0.20.4 directory and the Java Runtime Environment (JRE) with your application.

They must be deployed in the same directory as the PowerBuilder runtime files. For example, if you deploy your application and pbvm190.dll and the other PowerBuilder runtime files in a directory called MyApplication, the Apache processor must be deployed in MyApplication/fop-0.20.4, and the JRE in MyApplication/jre. However, you do not need to place a copy of the JRE in this location if the full JDK is installed on the target computer and is in the classpath.

The following JAR files must be in the user's classpath:


For more information about the JRE, see Java support.

On Windows DBCS platforms, you also need to deploy a file that supports DBCS characters to the Windows font directory on the target computer, for example, C:\WINDOWS\fonts. For more information about configuring fonts, see the Apache website at http://xmlgraphics.apache.org/fop/1.1/fonts.html.

For how to set properties for the XSL-FO method, see the section called “Saving as PDF using XSL-FO” in Users Guide.