Unicode support for PDF

RPM Remote Print Manager® (RPM) can convert a number of text formats to Portable Document Format (PDF). All you have to do is identify the format of the incoming data, including the code page if appropriate. RPM will then convert internally to UTF-8, one of the standard Unicode formats.

When you configure RPM to create PDF as an output, RPM will generate that PDF using UTF-8. This means that we can literally create PDF for you with any data that can be converted to Unicode. The one thing we recommend is that you select a Windows font which can display your data correctly. 

How we deal with incoming data formats

RPM supports a variety of standard data formats, including text in any code page supported by Windows, plus standard code pages such as the ISO 8859 series. We also support the international forms of EBCDIC, and SCS (a typical iSeries format). RPM translates all of these internally to UTF-8.

When you identify the code page RPM can use the correct translations to convert that data into Unicode. We have a question from time to time about “garbage” in the output. For instance, if you find several odd characters in place of a quote, you might be using Latin 1 as the input code page. Try UTF-8. The data might already be in the format RPM will be using anyway. At any rate, we suggest a little experimentation with code pages if the output seems “almost right”.

How to generate PDF using RPM

One of our principal uses is to generate PDF from the text. To do this, you would use the Text Markup transform and select the code page, or use the SCS transform to convert data from your iSeries (System i as they call it these days).

Once you set up the Text Markup or SCS transform, you would then add the “Text Markup to PDF” transform. Do this and RPM will generate PDF which fully supports Unicode.

After that you would typically write the PDF file to disk, or attach to an email though you could also send it a printer that supports PDF natively, or submit it to a program that processes PDF, perhaps an interface to your document management or COLD storage system.

Next steps