Wrapping text in FPDF table cells
This article aims to help those who like myself wondered how to make text wrap within a table cell using FPDF to generate a the PDF. A few posts around the web seem to have missed the point that wrapping comes out of the box in FPDF using the MultiCell function. However, it’s just a tiny bit tricky but not prohibitively so. So, this is what we are aiming for – an invoice.
There are 2 examples of wrapping here. Firstly the client address is wrapped, and secondly the first row of the line item data has a wrapped description.
In both cases the MultiCell in-built function is used. Before I had this solution working I was using the Cell function. In that case, long text simply continued through to the next cell ‘Quantity’. In the case of Cell, you can simply output a series of calls to the function with a cell width and so fourth and the cells will line up against each other on the same line.
When I switched to MultiCell for the first cell of each row only, I found that it would cause all subsequent cells in the same row to wrap to the next line. Therefore my solution was to use the SetXY function to reposition the ‘cursor’ back to where the 2nd cell of the current row would normally be, and then proceed to use Cell calls.
In order to do that it’s a case of marking the current X and Y coordinates of the cursor prior to entering the line item loop and calling SetXY just after the 1st cell MultiCell function call. That solved the line wrapping issue and my text wrapped inside the first cell – great.
The second issue however is that the MultiCell is arbitrarily high depending on the amount of text wrapping going on. I had been provided a static height to my Cell calls as as such they were now out of line with the first column, that is, the text and border lines were all out of sync with the 1st column.
To solve that problem it was a case of grabbing the Y coordinate of the cursor before and immediately after the MultiCell call, finding the difference to ascertain the height of the cell, and then using this to size the height of the remaining Cell calls on the row.
See it in action
Please feel free to download the source code for this article which builds the invoice PDFs as described.
The source code is provided as a ZIP file with index.php for the mixed example and index-all-mc.php for all Multi-cell with the 2 classes that build the PDFs. You will need to obtain the FPDF library yourself and modify the FPDF_FONTPATH and fpdf.php require. By default the code looks for fpdf17 in the same folder as the index files.
Best of luck!