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Author's profile photo gnaneswar reddy kothakota

SAP Jet forms : Step-by-step Process for designing and generating a PDF

This blog gives you a brief overview about Jet forms used in SAP through a third-party software and followed with an example on it.

I do accept Jet forms is an old concept. But, when you get any objective on this and when any client you are working with have a requirement on it, I hope this document will be helpful. Because, I underwent this kind of situation where the client I am working with gave his business requirement on Jet forms. I searched everywhere in SCN and Google but, the information I gathered was quite insufficient and I have striven in delivering the object.

So I am writing this blog for all who are new to Jet forms and if they get any business requirement on this, I am sure that this blog will definitely help.

Jet Form Definition:

Organizations require e-document presentment solutions that enable them to output documents from a single system, in a variety of formats for delivery via multiple channels including mail, e-mail, fax, and the Web.

With an effective end-to-end solution delivery, organizations can also offer customers flexible alternatives for receiving information. An organization can automatically send information to its customers, and at the same time, its customers can actively seek out up-to-the-minute information.

This can be achieved through Jet forms-the times when, smart forms/adobe forms weren’t existing.

There is a misconception that, Jet forms are supplants of Scripts in SAP. Jet forms are completely different from SAP Scripts.

How does a jet form synced with SAP Scripts:

From SAP the data comes out in the form of RDI (Raw Data Interface), the sap scripts have to be set to print to RDI. This is then sent to a specific server set on the sap script, with details of the end printer. Jet form then processes this data into a more reasonable format, and then processes this against the jet form.

The result is then sent to the printer.

Pros and Cons:

Jet Form Design is a full “What You See Is What You Get” (WYSIWYG) program. As you draw a form design, you can see it take shape on the screen. All the features, such as text, fields, lines, boxes and logos, and their attributes, such as fonts and shading, appear on-screen as they will print on the target printer.

In Jet Forms, you can incorporate graphical objects, such as lines, boxes, circles and arcs. You can choose attributes such as line widths, line styles, and shading patterns. The product supports the most popular graphic formats for logos, such as .BMP, .PCX, .TIF and .WMF. As well, you can include bar codes printed in many of the common formats.

You can establish a tabbing sequence that specifies the order in which Filler prompts for data entry. You can designate fields as mandatory, or as protected, where the user can see the data values but cannot modify them.

Alongside, there are few disadvantages with them as they cannot be tested with our design before sending it to SAP system which is a main drawback.

After the existence of smart forms/adobe forms, jet forms became obsolete as it could not meet many of the requirements and features that the present forms are providing.

Also as the jet forms are designed by a third-party software, they became the least opted choice.

Software Used:

Jet forms are developed by a third-party software which is provided by Adobe. The software is named as “Adobe Output Designer”.

Step-by-step Process of creating a Jet form and generating a pdf:

Jet form is created in .IFD format and compiled to .MDF (cannot open; raw format) format which has to be uploaded to UNIX server of the client.

Now, we will see how to create a simple jet form and generate its pdf file through a script in sap.

We shall create a jet form design for the below pdf:


In the above pdf we can see, there is a Title field, Date box field, and three box fields for demo purpose.

Now we shall design a Jet form which meets the above sample requirement through Adobe Output designer software.

After installing the software – Adobe Output Designer, you will see a blank screen as shown below after opening it.


Now, we can create a design on the blank page with which ever fields we require. Select the field box in the Toolbox and click on the page.



Double click on the box and you can use options like field name, width, height, font alignment, etc. according to your requirement.



As shown above we can design a page which consists of few field boxes of the required fields and logo if we need. To know more about the tools provided and used in the jet forms, we can place the cursor on the particular box and see why it is used for.


Like this, we can create three field boxes and place them accordingly on the page.


We can utilize the outline box tool to highlight the field boxes if needed.


Now, we create various field boxes for Invoice number, Date, Total amount, etc. and arrange them in an order.


As shown above, If we are using a particular field for Invoice number (in the caseof invoice pdf), we have to name it as Invoice Number as shown above. Same with Date field, Amount field and whichever field we are using.

After arranging the field boxes in an order, we highlight all of them as discussed earlier.


We can even create a Title for our pdf by placing few more data field boxes on the top of the page.


We can place a logo of the respective company by clicking on Logo tool and placing it wherever we need. In this scenario, I am placing a logo on the top left corner of the page.



Select OK and place the Logo in the required place on the page.


And now we have completed our first design in Jet Forms. Press the Save /wp-content/uploads/2015/02/17_648308.png  button and you can test present your design.

Go to menu options -> File -> Presentment targets. Here, select the default printer as PDF, so that you can view the test pdf of your design.


Now go to menu options -> File -> Test Presentment.


The design which you have created will be generated in the form of PDF as shown below:



You have successfully created your first Jet form.

As the SAP system cannot read .IFD format (the format your design is in), we have to compile the Jet form and convert it to .MDF format. As I earlier told you – “From SAP the data comes out in the form of RDI (Raw Data Interface), the sap scripts have to be set to print to RDI. This is then sent to a specific server set on the sap script, with details of the end printer. Jet form then processes this data into a more reasonable format, and then processes this against the jet form.

The result is then sent to the printer.”

The .MDF file which you have generated will be uploaded by BASIS team in the clients UNIX server.

The .MDF file is generated as shown:

Go to menu options -> File -> Presentment Targets and select the list of printers as per your client requirement and click OK.


Now go to File -> Compile and give the path where you want to place the .MDF file on your system.


In colossal designs where a jet form contains 2 or more pages, there is a necessity of “Preamble”, in which we have to write few commands and mention the field names. In few cases, the preamble file will be generated automatically once we compile the design to .MDF format.

You can see the preamble file in menu options-> Format -> Template Preamble


Many of us might have this doubt whether, if the preamble file is created automatically by Jet Form design or whether it’s created manually?

Well, it’s half and half. As long as you have a newer version of Output Designer, it will create the JFPREAMBLE_1 (and _2, _3 and so on as needed) and also make a stub JFPREAMBLE for you.

If you want to change the way it’s doing things, you need to edit the JFPREAMBLE. You can’t edit the others as they will be overwritten every time you recompile the form. Making edits in the JFPREAMBLE, you should put them *after* the ^FILE lines that pull in the other preambles, so that they override whatever might have been in those. Often you’ll find yourself copying lines from JFPREAMBLE_1 to JFPREAMBLE and making only minor changes.

This blog will be continued and I will post again on How to associate the Jet Forms with SAP Scripts in a short period.

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      Author's profile photo Former Member
      Former Member

      Nice document..even I faced the same situation and had to work on jet forms.

      Author's profile photo gnaneswar reddy kothakota
      gnaneswar reddy kothakota
      Blog Post Author

      thank you!!

      Author's profile photo Sneha Jadhav
      Sneha Jadhav

      Got to learn about JET forms. Very well explained document.

      Author's profile photo gnaneswar reddy kothakota
      gnaneswar reddy kothakota
      Blog Post Author

      thanks sneha

      Author's profile photo Former Member
      Former Member

      Nice doc.

      Author's profile photo Former Member
      Former Member

      Nice Explanation...!!!

      Author's profile photo Former Member
      Former Member

      Hi Gyan,

      Very informative..Keep posting.


      Vijay Vegesana

      Author's profile photo Former Member
      Former Member

      Nice doc and well explained,thanks for sharing keep posting...

      Author's profile photo swadhin ghatuary
      swadhin ghatuary


      Very informative..Thanks for  posting such a nice Doc.

      Author's profile photo Paul Hardy
      Paul Hardy

      This takes me back!

      My organisation used Jet Forms back in the year 1999 / 2000. I may still have the T-shirt somewhere

      The salesman managed to convince project management back in 1999 when they went to a SAPPHIRE conference that SAPSCRIPT was far too difficult, and it was best to define the form layout in Jet Forms, then you did not bother to have to do this in SAPSCRIPT.

      As it turned out you still had to create a SAPSCRIPT, a sort of blank one which took in the input from Jet Forms and then output the form.

      In the end, about 2001, we decided that really this approach involved twice as much work as just using SAPSCRIPT on it's own, and stopped using Jet Forms. That is just our opnion naturally. Soon aftewards Adobe bought out Jet Forms so they obviously saw potential in this tool.

      That was so long ago. I was 32, had a full head of hair and didn't yet have a mobile phone. The dot com boom was on, and SAP was releasing version 4.6 C and putting the word "e" in front of everything e.g. "e-application". Consultants who only knew how to spell "SAP" were earning a million dollars a year and flying round the world business class, drinking champagne and eating cavair and lobster at the clients expense.

      I would note that in the intervening period i.e. between 2001 and now, SAP came out with SMARTFORMS which was a huge improvement on SAPSCRIPT. Later on SAP had the idea of using interactive forms by Adobe, though I am not sure that was as big a success as hoped, due to being a seperately licenced product.

      If you are going to have to pay Adobe anyway to use something for form output, as opposed to the native SMARTFORMS within SAP, then taking a wild stab in the dark, I would imagine Adobe would prefer you to use their interactive forms product designed for use with SAP as opposed to the Jet Form technology they acquired, even if they built the former out of the latter (I wonder...)

      Cheersy Cheers


      Author's profile photo Che Eky
      Che Eky

      Very kind of you to share.

      Author's profile photo Praveer Sen
      Praveer Sen

      nice ...thanks for sharing.. 🙂

      Author's profile photo Ankit Shrivastava
      Ankit Shrivastava

      Hi Gnaneswar,

      Thanks for sharing. Very useful document for me as the client that I am working for is using jetforms.

      I have come across a requirement, where the customer needs email with pdf attached, issued using jetforms and the attached pdf should follow a specific naming convention. As of now, when output is issued, the attached pdf has a default name "print.pdf". I have searched through the (ABAP) code, and could not find where the logic for naming the attachment is coded.

      It would be really helpful if you can share whether the name of the attachment can be passed from ABAP source code, or if it is handled by some other tool/program running at the server level that is handled by the BASIS team.




      Author's profile photo gnaneswar reddy kothakota
      gnaneswar reddy kothakota
      Blog Post Author

      Hey Ankit,

      It is handled by BASIS team I suppose. Just check with your BASIS team so that they can change the name for you.

      Author's profile photo Former Member
      Former Member

      Hi Dnaneswar,

      Many thanks for your post. It really helps a lot when Adobe has ended its support of output designer and in a time when we don't have any other help than the persons who worked on it.

      I have a requirement to understand how does the "Language Translation" of different long texts/ field labels is handled during Jetform (.IDF) design. I want to see the translations of existing form which can be printed in multiple languages depending on some criteria like country/login users etc.

      Thanks for your help and guidance.



      Author's profile photo gnaneswar reddy kothakota
      gnaneswar reddy kothakota
      Blog Post Author

      Thanks Suhas!! 🙂

      Author's profile photo Former Member
      Former Member

      Its rare knowledge!

      Author's profile photo Former Member
      Former Member

      I would really appreciate it if you could help me. I have a new job and my role is to edit and correct over 500 forms using Adobe Output Designer. The issue I am facing are alignment issues between the fields and the content after it's compiled to pdf. It prints fine, but it doesn't align on the PDF. I'm expected to get it perfect for both pdf and printing. I cannot seem to figure out the issue and have spent literally countless hours over the past 6 weeks trying to figure out the underlining issue. What advise do you have in fixing these issues? For example...

      this line may have a field [here] and there will be an underline where that field is located using tabs set at .03. Then at another point in the line there will be another [field here]. Sometimes I have a date beginning [number] day of [month], [year], and ending December 31, [year].

      That paragraph example the [here] may be fine and properly aligned in pdf. But, the [field here] won't and the dates for certain will not. They will show on the pdf more likely be overlapping to the right of their designated space.

      Unfortunately, I have found absolutely nothing online to help me with this program. Furthermore, the Topics under Help has a broken link! Any guidance you can help me in finding the underlying issue will be greatly appreciated. Thank you!