Output Types in SAP SmartForms

by | Jul 12, 2020 | ABAP Beginner

Preface – This post is part of the ABAP Beginner series.


In classic form printing, the forms are printed using a printer. Smart Forms provides different output types or formats for different use cases. Form Attributes under General Settings node is used to determine the default settings for the form output. The default settings can be overruled using the standard parameters while calling the Smart Forms. In this article we will discuss the Output Types in SAP SmartForms in details.

Output Types in SAP SmartForms

Different output types/formats for the SmartForms are:

  • Output Text Format (OTF): It is a standard output format for printing forms in SAP systems. It is the default format in the Form Builder. It can be converted to other formats. It is usually output using spool processing. For this output, in the system, a printer must be set up with a device type that understands OTF.
  • XML for Smart Forms (XSF): It is an XML schema designed for the output of form contents. It does not contain any layout information. It is used to connect to external components of the SAP system to process the contents of the form. To use spool processing for XSF output, at least one printer of type ‘XSF’ must be set in the system.
  • XML Data for Forms (XDF): It is an XML schema that describes the contents of the form. It neither contains the form content nor the layout. To use spool processing, at least one printer of type ‘PLAIN’ must be set in the system. It is stored in the spool in binary format to ensure that no data is lost during conversion.
  • Hypertext Markup Language (HTML): It is a combination of XSF and HTML format that generates the layout information to be able to display into the internet application in order to complete business processes via electronic media rather than using printed mail. The Smart Forms returns a number of structures and tables for HTML outputs.


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