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HTML Document Layout

I need to be able to do simple document layout on a web-based application.

So, for an A4 page, I need to be able to scroll around, zoom and switch between portrait and landscape modes. In this way, the user can add various elements to lay out a document which is later converted to PDF and stored.

I remember doing all this years ago in VB for a simple report designer and it was tricky to get it to work perfectly.

Does anyone know of an example of this online that I could use, or at least take a look at for inspiration?

I'm planning to use the clip style to show the correct portion of the document layer.
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Thursday, August 09, 2007
I don't have an answer for you. Sorry.

I'm curious though. Why would your customer do this sort of work in an web based application? I personally would be terrified that some data would get lost if anything happened to the "network".
Thursday, August 09, 2007
They want to be able to design reports online, as part of a larger business application. These will then be stored in the database, so that they can be run later and ultimately turned into PDFs.

This is non-trivial, for a lot of reasons. I will use some kind of ajax updater to save their work as they go (like gmail, etc), so loss of network won't be such a big deal.

More challenging is dealing with all the coordinate transformations necessary to do drag and drop of elements on the report, while allowing scrolling. zooming, etc. I know it is possible, as I did it ages ago in VB, but I remember it being tricky, hence my post. If someone has solved this online, it'll save a lot of brain strain for me.
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Thursday, August 09, 2007
You should be able to do it using Adobe Flex and Actionscript.  You could use a canvas to position elements.  There are methods for drag and drop etc.

Haven't looked, but Adobe AIR gives a standalone system that should interface with SWF, Javascript and PDF.
Thursday, August 09, 2007
Thanks for the suggestion asl. Sadly, this is an extension to an existing project, so I don't really want to add more technology to their already stretched IT department.

Looks like I'll have to JFDI. I'll post my solution if anyone thinks it'd use useful.
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Friday, August 10, 2007
" useful", not "...use useful". Doh ;-)
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Friday, August 10, 2007

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