HTML to PDF using HTTP POST

Overview

The Pdfcrowd API is HTTP-based, the communication is made through normal HTTP requests. You can call the API by sending an HTTP request to the API server address with options passed as POST data.

The POST request's content type must be multipart/form-data if the request includes any local files. Otherwise application/x-www-form-urlencoded can be used as well.

You can also check out our API client libraries if you want to implement the API in your favorite programming language.

Getting Started

Enter a web page or upload an HTML file to get a PDF preview and integration code that you can copy and paste to your application.

Or choose from the examples below and adapt the code to your needs.

You can also interactively explore the API in our API Playground.

Authentication

Authentication is needed in order to use the Pdfcrowd API. The credentials used for accessing the API are your Pdfcrowd username and the API key.

The authentication method for user credentials is HTTP Basic Access Authentication. You provide your credentials every time you make a request.

You can try out the API without registration using the following demo credentials:
  • Username: demo
  • API key: ce544b6ea52a5621fb9d55f8b542d14d

Or you can start a free trial or purchase the API license to get your personal API credentials.

Server Address

The server address is https://api.pdfcrowd.com/convert/20.10/

Other addresses can be used:

  • https://api.pdfcrowd.com/convert/latest/ is for the latest converter version.
  • https://api.pdfcrowd.com/convert/20.10/ is for version 20.10.
  • https://api.pdfcrowd.com/convert/18.10/ is for version 18.10.
  • https://api.pdfcrowd.com/convert/ is a shortcut for version 18.10.

Both HTTP and HTTPS protocols are supported.

Examples

curl -f -u "demo:ce544b6ea52a5621fb9d55f8b542d14d" \
    -o "example.pdf" \
    -F "url=http://www.example.com" \
    https://api.pdfcrowd.com/convert/20.10/
curl -f -u "demo:ce544b6ea52a5621fb9d55f8b542d14d" \
    -o "MyLayout.pdf" \
    -F "file=@/path/to/MyLayout.html" \
    https://api.pdfcrowd.com/convert/20.10/
curl -f -u "demo:ce544b6ea52a5621fb9d55f8b542d14d" \
    -o "HelloWorld.pdf" \
    --form-string "text=<html><body><h1>Hello World!</h1></body></html>" \
    https://api.pdfcrowd.com/convert/20.10/

# or use custom HTML producer
html_producer | curl -u "demo:ce544b6ea52a5621fb9d55f8b542d14d" \
    -o "HelloWorld.pdf" \
    -F "text=<-" \
    https://api.pdfcrowd.com/convert/20.10/

Advanced Examples

curl -f -u "demo:ce544b6ea52a5621fb9d55f8b542d14d" \
    -o "letter_landscape.pdf" \
    -F "page_size=Letter" \
    -F "orientation=landscape" \
    -F "no_margins=true" \
    -F "url=http://www.example.com" \
    https://api.pdfcrowd.com/convert/20.10/
curl -f -u "demo:ce544b6ea52a5621fb9d55f8b542d14d" \
    -o "header_footer.pdf" \
    -F "header_height=15mm" \
    -F "footer_height=10mm" \
    --form-string "header_html=<a class='pdfcrowd-source-url' data-pdfcrowd-placement='href-and-content'></a>" \
    --form-string "footer_html=<center><span class='pdfcrowd-page-number'></span></center>" \
    -F "margin_top=0" \
    -F "margin_bottom=0" \
    -F "url=http://www.example.com" \
    https://api.pdfcrowd.com/convert/20.10/
curl -f -u "demo:ce544b6ea52a5621fb9d55f8b542d14d" \
    -o "form.pdf" \
    -F "enable_pdf_forms=true" \
    --form-string "text=<html><body>Enter name:<input type=text></body></html>" \
    https://api.pdfcrowd.com/convert/20.10/

# or use custom HTML producer
html_producer | curl -u "demo:ce544b6ea52a5621fb9d55f8b542d14d" \
    -o "form.pdf" \
    -F "enable_pdf_forms=true" \
    -F "text=<-" \
    https://api.pdfcrowd.com/convert/20.10/
curl -f -u "demo:ce544b6ea52a5621fb9d55f8b542d14d" \
    -o "zoom_300.pdf" \
    -F "scale_factor=300" \
    -F "url=http://www.example.com" \
    https://api.pdfcrowd.com/convert/20.10/
curl -f -u "demo:ce544b6ea52a5621fb9d55f8b542d14d" \
    -o "with_metadata.pdf" \
    -F "author=Pdfcrowd" \
    -F "title=Hello World" \
    -F "subject=Demo" \
    -F "keywords=Pdfcrowd,demo" \
    -F "url=http://www.example.com" \
    https://api.pdfcrowd.com/convert/20.10/
curl -f -u "demo:ce544b6ea52a5621fb9d55f8b542d14d" \
    -o "slide_show.pdf" \
    -F "page_layout=single-page" \
    -F "page_mode=full-screen" \
    -F "initial_zoom_type=fit-page" \
    -F "orientation=landscape" \
    -F "no_margins=true" \
    -F "url=https://pdfcrowd.com/doc/api/" \
    https://api.pdfcrowd.com/convert/20.10/
curl -f -u "demo:ce544b6ea52a5621fb9d55f8b542d14d" \
    -o "html_part.pdf" \
    -F "element_to_convert=#main" \
    -F "url=https://pdfcrowd.com/doc/api/" \
    https://api.pdfcrowd.com/convert/20.10/
curl -f -u "demo:ce544b6ea52a5621fb9d55f8b542d14d" \
    -o "html_inject.pdf" \
    --form-string "custom_javascript=el=document.createElement('h2'); el.textContent='Hello from Pdfcrowd API'; el.style.color='red'; el_before=document.getElementsByTagName('h1')[0]; el_before.parentNode.insertBefore(el, el_before.nextSibling)" \
    -F "url=http://www.example.com" \
    https://api.pdfcrowd.com/convert/20.10/
curl -f -u "demo:ce544b6ea52a5621fb9d55f8b542d14d" \
    -o "bootstrap.pdf" \
    -F "viewport_width=992" \
    -F "rendering_mode=viewport" \
    -F "smart_scaling_mode=viewport-fit" \
    -F "no_margins=true" \
    -F "url=https://getbootstrap.com/" \
    https://api.pdfcrowd.com/convert/20.10/
curl -f -u "demo:ce544b6ea52a5621fb9d55f8b542d14d" \
    -o "highlight_background.pdf" \
    --form-string "custom_javascript=libPdfcrowd.highlightHtmlElements({backgroundColor: 'rgba(255, 191, 0, 0.1)', borderColor:null})" \
    -F "url=http://www.example.com" \
    https://api.pdfcrowd.com/convert/20.10/
curl -f -u "demo:ce544b6ea52a5621fb9d55f8b542d14d" \
    -o "highlight_borders.pdf" \
    --form-string "custom_javascript=libPdfcrowd.highlightHtmlElements({borderColor: 'orange', backgroundColor: null, padding: '4px', margin: '4px'})" \
    -F "url=http://www.example.com" \
    https://api.pdfcrowd.com/convert/20.10/

Integration Examples

The API can be easily integrated into your environment. You can have our interactive API Playground autogenerate the integration code for you:

You can also check out a complete example in our pdfcrowd-examples Github repository:

Common Customizations

The API lets you convert a web page, a local HTML file, or a string containing HTML.

The best way to start with the API is to choose one of the examples and once you get it working, you can further customize the code. You can find the most common customizations in the table below.

Page size Change the page size with page_size . Pass -1 to page_height to get a single page PDF containing the whole document.
Page orientation Change the page orientation to landscape with orientation.
Page margins Adjust the page margins with margin_top, margin_bottom, margin_left, and margin_right.
Headers and footers Add headers and footers with header_html and footer_html. Set the height with footer_height and header_height.
You can learn more in this tutorial.
Zoom Scale the HTML contents with scale_factor.
Hide or remove elements You can use the following classes in your HTML code to hide or remove elements from the output:
  • pdfcrowd-remove - sets display:none!important on the element
  • pdfcrowd-hide - sets visibility:hidden!important on the element
Learn about other options.
Use @media print You can switch to the print version of the page (if it exists) with use_print_media.
Force page break You can force a page break with
<div style="page-break-before:always"></div>
Avoid page break You can avoid a page break inside an element with the following CSS
th, td, img { page-break-inside:avoid }
Run custom JavaScript You can use on_load_javascript or custom_javascript to alter the HTML contents with a custom JavaScript. In addition to the standard browser APIs, the custom JavaScript code can use helper functions from our JavaScript library .
Custom CSS styling You can alter CSS styling used during conversion with a custom JavaScript or using the pdfcrowd-body CSS class, which is automatically set on the HTML <body> element. You can, for example, set the H1 height to 48px by adding the following line to your CSS:
.pdfcrowd-body h1 { font-size: 48px; }
Add PDF signature You can create PDF containing a digital signature field. Such PDF can be digitally signed in, for example, Adobe Acrobat or Preview. Learn more.

Template Rendering

The API enables rendering of HTML templates. The template syntax is based on the Jinja template rendering engine.

The most common constructs are:

  • Data rendering: Invoice: {{ invoice.number }}
  • For loop: {% for invoice in invoices %} ... {% endfor %}
  • If statement: {% if invoice.total > 100 %} ... {% endif %}
  • Data filter: {{ invoice.to.first_name|capitalize }}

The supported input data formats are JSON, XML, CSV and YAML. The data can be uploaded from a file or from a string variable.

Supported template filters: capitalize, center, default, escape, first, forceescape, format, indent, join, last, length, list, lower, replace, reverse, safe, slice, sort, string, striptags, title, trim, truncate, unique, upper, wordcount, wordwrap.

Template Rendering Examples

curl -f -u "{{ user_name }}:{{ api_key }}" \
    -o "output.pdf" \
    --form-string "data_string={
            \"name\": \"World\",
            \"product\": \"Pdfcrowd API\"
        }" \
    --form-string "text=Hello {{ name }} from {{ product }}" \
    https://api.pdfcrowd.com/convert/20.10/

# or use custom HTML producer
html_producer | curl -u "{{ user_name }}:{{ api_key }}" \
    -o "output.pdf" \
    --form-string "data_string={
            \"name\": \"World\",
            \"product\": \"Pdfcrowd API\"
        }" \
    -F "text=<-" \
    https://api.pdfcrowd.com/convert/20.10/
curl -f -u "{{ user_name }}:{{ api_key }}" \
    -o "output.pdf" \
    --form-string "data_string=<?xml version=\"1.0\" encoding=\"UTF-8\"?>
        <data>
          <name>World</name>
          <product>Pdfcrowd API</product>
        </data>" \
    --form-string "text=Hello {{ data.name }} from {{ data.product }}" \
    https://api.pdfcrowd.com/convert/20.10/

# or use custom HTML producer
html_producer | curl -u "{{ user_name }}:{{ api_key }}" \
    -o "output.pdf" \
    --form-string "data_string=<?xml version=\"1.0\" encoding=\"UTF-8\"?>
        <data>
          <name>World</name>
          <product>Pdfcrowd API</product>
        </data>" \
    -F "text=<-" \
    https://api.pdfcrowd.com/convert/20.10/
curl -f -u "{{ user_name }}:{{ api_key }}" \
    -o "output.pdf" \
    -F "data_string=name: World
product: Pdfcrowd API" \
    --form-string "text=Hello {{ name }} from {{ product }}" \
    https://api.pdfcrowd.com/convert/20.10/

# or use custom HTML producer
html_producer | curl -u "{{ user_name }}:{{ api_key }}" \
    -o "output.pdf" \
    -F "data_string=name: World
product: Pdfcrowd API" \
    -F "text=<-" \
    https://api.pdfcrowd.com/convert/20.10/
curl -f -u "{{ user_name }}:{{ api_key }}" \
    -o "output.pdf" \
    -F "data_string=name,product
World,Pdfcrowd API" \
    --form-string "text=Hello {{ name }} from {{ product }}" \
    https://api.pdfcrowd.com/convert/20.10/

# or use custom HTML producer
html_producer | curl -u "{{ user_name }}:{{ api_key }}" \
    -o "output.pdf" \
    -F "data_string=name,product
World,Pdfcrowd API" \
    -F "text=<-" \
    https://api.pdfcrowd.com/convert/20.10/

Response Headers

HTTP response can contain the following headers.
You can find details about each conversion in your conversion log.

Name Description
X-Pdfcrowd-Debug-Log URL to the debug log
X-Pdfcrowd-Remaining-Credits the number of available conversion credits in your account
X-Pdfcrowd-Consumed-Credits the number of credits consumed by the conversion
X-Pdfcrowd-Job-Id the unique ID of the conversion
X-Pdfcrowd-Pages the total number of pages in the output document
X-Pdfcrowd-Output-Size the size of the output in bytes

Troubleshooting

POST Parameter Reference

Refer for details to the POST Parameter Reference.