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Best HTML to PDF convertor for Web2print?

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asaaki View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote asaaki Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Topic: Best HTML to PDF convertor for Web2print?
    Posted: 11 Nov 2012 at 1:45pm
Hi,

I was using WKHTMLTOPDF as an open source HTML to PDF convertor for 9.5" x 5.5" card designs. 

WKHTMLTOPDF worked fine until recently I discovered it breaks the document sometimes when an image is included, if I use a vertical-styled business card design. It's hard to adjust margins as well. I'm not sure what's wrong. Also - it doesn't seem to remain under development and so I don't think it's wise to use it for long term projects.

There are many options, PDFLib, FPDF. What would you suggest is a good HTML to PDF convertor? Either API or a product.

My requirements are to convert HTML designs that have the following features:
- UTF-8 must supported since I'll be using Arabic
- I have CSS files for style as well as embedding fonts.
- I have absolutely positioned divs with either images or text
- The printable div has a specific height and width
- The output PDF has to have a custom height and width as well, not standard A4, etc.

I just came across Adobe Acrobat Pro XI as being able to convert HTML to PDF in superb quality (at least judging by their sample on the website). But is it worth the cost? 

Thanks!

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aandi View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote aandi Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11 Nov 2012 at 6:08pm
Does this run on a server, or do you run it on your workstation to make single PDFs, or something else?
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Post Options Post Options   Quote asaaki Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 12 Nov 2012 at 6:36am
Running it on a server. So I should add to the list of requirements: 

- should be able to script it for CLI.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote aandi Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 12 Nov 2012 at 12:09pm
Ok, so I can answer the Acrobat question very easily. Acrobat is not technically suitable for use on a server. More than that, it is said that the license does not allow use on a server, and no server license can be purchased.

Adobe have a range of server products with LiveCycle in their name, and some of them might do this. However, they are priced as enterprise products, i.e. several orders of magnitude more costly than Acrobat.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote asaaki Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 12 Nov 2012 at 12:14pm
Thanks, but are you including the latest version in this? Adobe Acrobat XI Pro?
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Post Options Post Options   Quote aandi Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 12 Nov 2012 at 12:17pm
Yes, why do you think it might be different?
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Post Options Post Options   Quote asaaki Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 12 Nov 2012 at 12:21pm
Because I just mailed the Adobe reps for this version and they said yes it is scriptable - their next reply is pending though were I gave my specific requirements based on which they're supposed to give clearer instructions.

I presume anything that's scriptable via CLI can be used on a server?
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aandi View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote aandi Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 12 Nov 2012 at 12:36pm
Certainly, Acrobat has a rich API running to many thousands of pages. But that doesn't change my answer: not suitable for a server (needs a UI running), not licensable.

> I presume anything that's scriptable via CLI can be used on a server?

1. Scriptability in Windows doesn't generally mean CLI (which Microsoft announced was obsolete in 1995, though it has been slow in dying). It usually means it can be accessed via COM or OLE.

2. The right (as opposed to the technical ability) to run something on a server is entirely down to the license. This is an important thing to check for any software, failing to check it has cost companies millions of dollars.
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asaaki View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote asaaki Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 12 Nov 2012 at 12:39pm
Oh right - I hadn't considered CLI on Windows/Linux! Thank you very much indeed - I'll get back on check on the things you mentioned!

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aandi View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote aandi Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 12 Nov 2012 at 12:41pm
But why take my word for it...
http://partners.adobe.com/public/developer/en/acrobat/sdk/pdf/intro_to_sdk/DeveloperFAQ.pdf#page=15
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