Creating PDF template

Advantages of using PDF templates:

  • Can produce PDF files.

Disadvantages in comparison with Text templates:

  • Produce bigger documents.
  • More difficulties in maintaining the templates in time.
  • More time needed in the creation of the document (especially when the PDF optimization configuration parameter is enabled )

You can create PDF template forms with several applications:

Every PDF form field name needs to be unique, you can't set the same property value to several form fields.

When converting from OpenOffice document to PDF, repeated form fields are renamed to original_name_2, original_name_3, etc.

If you need to put the same property value in several fields, try Creating OpenOffice and LibreOffice templates.

In the sample below, we've used OpenOffice to create PDF template.


Register the Metadata group definition at Administration > Metadata.

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?>
<!DOCTYPE property-groups PUBLIC "-//OpenKM//DTD Property Groups 2.1//EN"
  <property-group label="Sample Template" name="okg:tpl">
    <input label="Name" name=""/>
    <input label="Birth Date" name="okp:tpl.birth_date" type="date" />
    <select label="Language" name="okp:tpl.language" type="simple">
      <option label="Java" value="java"/>
      <option label="Python" value="python"/>
      <option label="PHP" value="php" />

In order to make a relation between the template form field and the property group, you have to name them following a naming convention: replace ":" and "." by "_". Here you can see the matching between both fields:

Metadata field nameTemplate field nameTemplate field value









Creating the template

To create a template in go to View > Toolbars > Form Controls.

The a new dialogue will appear and you will be able to add form elements to the document. This dialogue contains stuff such as Labels, Text Boxes, Check Boxes, etc.

Once the form has been created, go to File > Export as PDF to generate a PDF with these form fields. This is the final result:

Here you have the generated PDF file tpl.pdf and this is the ODT source tpl_pdf.odt.

Date format

OpenKM uses FreeMarker inside, so you can take advantage of the FreeMarker formatting flexibilities. For example you can set date format by this way:


Learn more about FreeMarker formatting at Built-in Reference.  

Configuring sample

  • Upload tpl.pdf file at /okm:templates
  • Register metadata definition okg:tpl at Administration > Metadata 
  • Enable metadata from profiles at Administration > Profiles 
  • Add metadata group okg:tpl to tpl.pdf file.