How can I convert a CSV file to a table with a repeating header row?

Tags: tablesCSVpublish databaseiText 5

I am generating a PDF file from CSV using iText. I need to format the file such that the header row (which occurs in the beginning of every page) should be in a different font and color. Just to be clear, I know how to set the font style/size/color. I'm having a tough time finding out how to do that for the header rows of my table.

Posted on StackOverflow on Nov 10, 2014 by harsha

Your requirement is explained in large detail in our tutorial video, more specifically in the UnitedStates example. In this example, we take a CSV file containing the different states of the US: united_states.csv

name;abbr;capital;most populous city;population;square miles;time zone 1;time zone 2;dst
ALABAMA;AL;Montgomery;Birmingham;4,708,708;52,423;CST (UTC-6);EST (UTC-5);YES
ALASKA;AK;Juneau;Anchorage;698,473;656,425;AKST (UTC-09) ;HST (UTC-10) ;YES
ARIZONA;AZ;Phoenix;Phoenix;6,595,778;114,006;MT (UTC-07); ;NO
ARKANSAS;AR;Little Rock;Little Rock;2,889,450;53,182;CST (UTC-6); ;YES
CALIFORNIA;CA;Sacramento;Los Angeles;36,961,664;163,707;PT (UTC-8); ;YES

And we parse these into a PDF with a repeating header: united_states.pdf

The only difference, is that you want the text in the header to be bold. This requires only a minimal change to the code:

public void createPdf(String dest) throws IOException, DocumentException {
    Document document = new Document(PageSize.A4.rotate());
    PdfWriter.getInstance(document, new FileOutputStream(dest));;
    PdfPTable table = new PdfPTable(9);
    table.setWidths(new int[]{4, 1, 3, 4, 3, 3, 3, 3, 1});
    BufferedReader br = new BufferedReader(new FileReader(DATA));
    String line = br.readLine();
    process(table, line, new Font(FontFamily.HELVETICA, 16, Font.BOLD));
    while ((line = br.readLine()) != null) {
        process(table, line, new Font(FontFamily.HELVETICA, 12));
public void process(PdfPTable table, String line, Font font) {
    StringTokenizer tokenizer = new StringTokenizer(line, ";");
    while (tokenizer.hasMoreTokens()) {
        table.addCell(new Phrase(tokenizer.nextToken(), font));

Take a close look at how the process() method was changed: it now accepts a font parameter so that we can define a bigger, bolder font for the header.