How to use pdflib


i am running a german (to be correct: a bavarian) table tennis portal together with a friend, where every bavarian club can create a dynamic homepage, which is set up automatically (including all data like team-information, player stats, league information, and so on).

We already achieved a lot of things we wanted to have like creating automatically users for PHPBB and process a login, when somebody makes a login on our site. We integrated the FCK-editor and some other stuff, that was really tricky but interesting.

But now we came to a point, where we dont know what to do. We offer the possibility for the members and clubs to enter contact data and store them in a database. Now we want to offer the clubs a easy way, to download a PDF-contact-list of their own players.

I found a lot of information about how to generate PDF-files with PHP. But when I started to try it, I had to notice, that there seems to be no extension for PDF on Dreamhost. Basically we want to use the PDFLIB (see, but dont know how to set it up. I found something in the forum and in the wiki, that says, that we have to configure a custom PHP version somehow with shell.

We are good programmers, but so far without shell and PDF experience.


  1. Does somebody know another / a easier way to generate dynamic PDF-files without making changes in shell?
  2. If not, can somebody give us some tipps about how to implement the PDFLIB, please?

Another question unrelated to this topic:
Althought every user can define for every contact kind (email, phone, etc), weather this information is visible for every visitor of the site or for club mates only, we want to make sure, that robots / crawler / mailbots dont have access to those data (avoid spam mails). Does somebody know, if PDF files can be read/red/readen(???) by those robots. Maybe somebody can recommend a better way.

Thank you very much in advance for all replies and sorry for my bad english.


I bin ja quasi a Lichtgestalt!

There are 2 php scripts I found that do not require the pdflib library to be installed. I have not tested them, but it may help you.

I know that google spiders can read pdf documents as long as they aren’t locked. I would generally disallow a user to make their private info available to the public (guests). And on top of that I would maybe only allow verified members to be able to generate .pdf files of such data.