What is causing syntax errors in a page created with iText?

Tags: PDF syntaxgraphics stateiText 5

I am getting the following error when I want to print a PDF generated with iTextSharp"

"An error exists on this page. Acrobat may not display the page correctly. please contact the person who created the pdf document to correct the problem"

The document prints fine, but why do I get this error? This is my code:

PdfContentByte cb = writer.DirectContent;
cb.BeginText();
Font NormalFont = FontFactory.GetFont("Arial", 12, Font.NORMAL, Color.BLACK);
iTextSharp.text.Image img = iTextSharp.text.Image.GetInstance("/banner.tiff");
img.SetAbsolutePosition(35, 760);
img.ScalePercent(50);
cb.AddImage(img);
cb.SetLineWidth(2);
cb.MoveTo(20, 740);
cb.LineTo(570, 740);
cb.Stroke();
cb.BeginText();
writeText(cb, drHead["EmpName"].ToString(), 25, 745, f_cb, 14);
writeText(cb, "Employee ID:", 450, 745, f_cn, 12);
writeText(cb, drHead["EmployeeID"].ToString(), 515, 745, f_cb, 12);
cb.EndText();
cb.BeginText();
writeText(cb, "XXXX:", 25, 725, f_cb, 8);
cb.EndText();
cb.SetLineWidth(2);
cb.MoveTo(20, 675);
cb.LineTo(570, 675);
cb.Stroke();
cb.EndText();
cb.BeginText();
writeText(cb, "XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX", 20, 140, f_cb, 12);
cb.EndText();
cb.EndText();
Please help me to know what is the issue.

Posted on StackOverflow on Jan 23, 2014 by Vandana

You have nested text blocks. That's illegal PDF syntax. I think recent versions of iTextSharp warn you about this, so I guess you're using an old version.

This is wrong:

cb.BeginText();
...
cb.BeginText();
...
cb.EndText();
...
cb.EndText();

This is right:

cb.BeginText();
...
cb.EndText();
...
cb.BeginText();
...
cb.EndText();

Moreover: ISO-32000-1 tells you that some operations are forbidden inside a text block.

This is wrong:

cb.BeginText();
...
cb.AddImage(img);
...
cb.EndText();

This is right:

cb.BeginText();
...
cb.EndText();
...
cb.AddImage(img);

Finally, some operators are mandatory when creating a text block. For instance: you always need setFontAndSize() (I don't know what you're doing in writeText(), but I assume you're setting the font correctly).

In any case: you have chosen to use iTextSharp at the lowest level, writing PDF syntax almost manually. This assumes that you know ISO-32000-1 inside-out. If you don't, you should use some of the high-level objects, such as ColumnText to position content at absolute positions.