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Form2PDF is a standalone UNIX PDF utility for converting text files to PDF, optionally adding a background image in the process.




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Form2PDF is a standalone UNIX PDF utility for converting text files to PDF, optionally adding a background image (a form) in the process.

Form2PDF project can also send the resulting PDF file as an e-mail with the PDF file as an attachment. This is done through a built-in SMTP client and it does not depend on any other components.

Here are some key features of "Form2PDF":

Support for SMTP authentication

Now Form2PDF can communicate with SMTP servers that require autentication. Currently the authentication methods "login" and "plain" are supported.

Options: --smtpuser, --smtppassword

Send mail using SMTP authentication.

form2pdf --smtpuser=user1 --smtppassword=secret --sender --mailto test.txt test.pdf

PDF document encryption and protection

It is possible to "lock" PDF documents preventing access or specific actions. Locking a document will also encrypt the contents of the document.

For encryption a 40-bit RC4 algorithm is used which does not provide as strong encryption as the 128-bit algorithm available in later versions of Acrobat Reader but on the other hand is backwards compatible down to Acrobat Reader 3.

The option --ownerpassword is used in combination with --pdfprotectmask to protect the document from unauthorized editing or printing. The --userpassword option will force users to enter a password before they can even open and view the document.

The argument for --pdfprotectmask is a bitmask that defines what operations are not allowed: 4 - Print, 8 - Modify, 16 - Copy text and graphics, 32 - Add or modify text annotations and form fields. The default value is 8 (Modify).

Options: --userpassword, --ownerpassword, --pdfprotectmask

Protect document from modification (editing):

form2pdf --ownerpassword verysecret test.txt test.pdf

Protect document from modification and printing:

form2pdf --ownerpassword verysecret --pdfprotectmask 12 test.txt test.pdf

Prevent users from reading the document unless the have the password, "secret".

form2pdf --userpassword secret test.txt test.pdf

Sending of e-mail without PDF conversion

Form2PDF can now be used as a simple SMTP client for sending a text message and an arbitrary number of attachments. No conversion is performed and any type of files can be sent.

It is not possible to convert a file and add other attachments in the same run but it can be completed in two steps.

Send an e-mail with two images attached.

form2pdf --mailonly --sender --mailto --message "Test" test1.png test2.jpg

Convert to PDF and then send the resulting file plus a Word document as attachments.

Options: --mailonly

form2pdf --mailonly --sender --mailto --message "Test" test.pdf file.doc
Last updated on March 15th, 2007

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