Jasper Ideas

Import pdf or use pdf as background

Like other users, we would like to define existing PDF files as background for Jasper Reports templates. One use case behind this requirement is as follows:

The user has designed a letter header and footer in MS Word. Now we want to give him a possibility to use this layout for his reports (in this case invoices are to be created).

If PDF files were supported, he could simply save the MS Word document as a PDF file and use it directly in report generation.

Why can't we use raster graphics (e.g. PNG):

Jasper Reports advertises high quality reports. From our point of view, this includes that raster graphics should be avoided as far as possible, since they are always blurred above a certain zoom level and/or require a lot of memory. For this reason, we can well understand the community user "hasch73" with the following post:


Another disadvantage of this approach is that the contained text (e.g. an address) cannot be selected in the generated PDF file and cannot be copied as a result. This is possible with a PDF file as background.

Why can't we use SVG files:

As mentioned above, our customers use MS-Word. Here there is no easy way to create a SVG graphic.

Why can't we use a library (e.g. iText) to embed the PDF file in a post-processing step:

A post-processing step makes things unnecessarily complicated. Most importantly, this has a bad effect on performance, since the generated PDF file has to be read in completely again.

Why can't we take the approach suggested by TIBCO:

The following page suggests an approach from TIBCO.


We consider the requirement we mentioned as a state-of-the-art feature (especially for the professional version of Jasper Reports). So this should be possible out-of-the-box without having to write a custom generic element handler. Especially not, because there are some other Jasper users asking for this feature (see various community posts).

  • Michael Freisinger
  • Sep 15 2021
  • To be Reviewed
Components JasperSoft Studio, JasperReports Library
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