Saturday, June 27, 2009

CFPDF: Problems with addWatermark foreground="false"

Another interesting issue with cfpdf and watermarks came up on the adobe forums last week. A poster mentioned having problems using cfpdf to apply a watermark to the background of a pdf. Whenever they tried using foreground="false" a white rectangle always obscured the watermark.

<cfpdf action="addwatermark"

I ran a few tests and suprisingly my attempts to apply the background watermark using ddx and iText both failed. But they did reveal something strange: the problem only seems to apply to pdf's created with cfdocument. The same code worked with similar files created by Acrobat. So it definitely seems to be an issue with cfdocument.

However, a post on, by Randi Knutson, mentions a work-around using css. He was able to apply a background watermark using the css background-image property. So at least there is one way around this particular issue. For those that like one-stop-shopping, here is a quick example using Randi's code:

<cfdocument format="pdf" filename="simulateForegroundEqualsFalse.pdf" overwrite="true">
body { background-image: url(/images/myWatermarkLetterSize.gif);
<cfloop from="1" to="30" index="r">
<p>The only way to comprehend what mathematicians mean by Infinity is to contemplate the extent of human stupidity.</p>

Update: A helpful Adobe rep. pointed out a simpler fix that works with the CF9 Beta. When creating the pdf with cfdocument, simply save the results to a variable. Then use the variable as the pdf "source" instead of a file path.


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