Monday, August 3, 2009

perl : viewing pdf file out of web folder

How to view a pdf file on your web page?
If the pdf file parked in a web folder like /cgi-bin/files/example.pdf, you can easily show it in a page using the following code

<embed src="/cgi-bin/files/example.pdf#toolbar=0&navpanes=1&scrollbar=0" width="100%" height="500">

so the page will show the pdf file embedded on the web page like the following

but lets say that, the pdf file is not accessible on web page, that means its parked out of web directory for the sake of security. then how to get the file viewed on the web page?

I did the following thing to achieve showing the pdf file out of web directory for testing.
  1. created a tempfile handler within web directory
    use File::Temp qw/ tempfile /;
    use File::Copy;
    use File::Basename;

    my($fh, $fname) = tempfile('TEMP_XXXX', SUFFIX => '.pdf', DIR =>'d:/Inetpub/cgi-bin/temp/');
  2. copied the file to the temp file
    copy("d:/files/example.pdf","$fname") or die "Copy failed: $!";
    $output_file = "temp/".basename($fname);

  3. embedded the temp file on the web page
    < embed src="$output_file#toolbar=0&navpanes=1&scrollbar=0" width="100%" height="500" >

Now the page shows the pdf file out of web folder. one more thing to consider on this is to remove the temp file after usage. by default, the temp file will be removed if application closed. but its better to unlink them after session ends.
this method is not preferred to show secured documents.