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French characters are not properly displayed in PDF created using PHP FPDF class

Friday, January 10, 2014

Problem in displaying French characters or other language characters that uses latin scripts  on PDF files generated using FPDF class

I am using FPDF class Version 1.6 to generate a pdf file which have french characters in it. But on the PDF file the french characters are either discarded or displayed as some other unfamiliar characters.


I tried the below given script to fix the issue.


function change_encoding($str){
return( iconv("UTF-8", "CP1250//TRANSLIT", $str) );


The function given above will accept a string and generate the french character friendly encded string.

string iconv ( string $in_charset , string $out_charset , string $str )

the function iconv converts a string to requested character encoding. It performs a character set conversion on the string "$str" from "in_charset" to "out_charset".


Appending "//TRANSLIT" to out_charset transliteration is activated. This means that when a character can't be represented in the target charset, it can be approximated through one or several similarly looking characters.

Appending "//IGNORE", characters that cannot be represented in the target charset are silently discarded.

Otherwise, $str is cut from the first illegal character and an E_NOTICE is generated.

So Indorder to write a french string on to a Cell in the PDF file call the function like this:


$pdf->Cell(35,5, change_encoding($YourFrenchString),0,1,'',0,'');



* FPDF is a PHP class which allows to generate PDF files with pure PHP, that is to say without using the PDFlib library. F from FPDF stands for Free: you may use it for any kind of usage and modify it to suit your needs.
Read more from http://www.fpdf.org/

* ICONV is a php builtin function that converts a string to requested character encoding
Read more from http://in3.php.net/manual/en/function.iconv.php

for similar Bugs and fixes, click here.

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French characters are not properly displayed in PDF created using PHP FPDF class.

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