Pdfcrowd FAQ


General

What is Pdfcrowd?

Pdfcrowd is an online service that can convert web pages and HTML documents to PDF and various image formats. Pdfcrowd launched in 2009 and has been providing a reliable conversion service to businesses and individuals since then.

What conversion services do you offer?

We provide these services:

  • Pdfcrowd API - The API enables you to easily convert documents in your applications.
  • Save as PDF Link - A special link that can save the containing web page to PDF.
  • In-Browser - Lets you convert documents in our online conversion form and with our browser add-on.

Do you provide support?

Yes, we provide email based support. The majority of support requests is answered within 1 business day.

Where are you located?

We are based in the EU but our infrastructure is hosted in the USA.

Where can I ask further questions?

Please feel free to contact us. We will happily answer any questions you may have.

API v2

Is the API reliable? How much downtime can I expect?

You should experience no downtime at all. The API is hosted in Google Cloud and deployed to multiple independent zones with redundant capacity and automatic failover.

On which platforms is the API available?

The API is available virtually on any platform that supports HTTP/HTTPS. We have client libraries for popular programming languages that make the API integration a matter of minutes. You can also communicate with API directly via HTTP/HTTPS.

What HTML/CSS version does the API support?

The API fully supports HTML5, CSS3 and JavaScript. The API should be able to convert any modern web page.

What web page content is ignored?

The following content is ignored: video, audio, Flash, third-party plugins, frameset documents.

Do I need an Internet connection to use the API?

The API is a web service, conversions run on our servers. You need an Internet connection to be able to use the API. We do not provide a standalone SDK that could be used offline.

Can I convert web pages that are hosted locally (localhost, intranet)?

Pdfcrowd can only convert web pages that are on the public Internet. If you need to convert locally hosted pages, you can either pass on the page's HTML code to the API or you can use localtunnel.

Can the API convert password protected pages?

Yes, the API can convert password protected pages.

  • Basic authentication: you can use setHttpAuth()
  • Cookie/session based authentication: you can set the session cookie with setCookies()

What's the difference between the legacy API v1 and API v2?

The API v1 is the original API that had been offered since 2009. It is no longer available to new Pdfcrowd accounts. The API v2 is based on the latest web technologies and solves many issues that were present in API v1.

The API is not working or gives an incorrect output, what should I check for?

  • Ensure that your implementation handles errors correctly. Refer to the Error Handling section in our documentation.
  • If an API call fails, you can look up the returned error code here.
  • You can enable debug logging with setDebugLog(). You can find your debug logs in your account page.
  • If the above does not help, send us:
    1. Your API implementation.
    2. A minimal HTML document or a link to a web page that we can use to reproduce the issue.
    3. Related debug logs.

Style sheet is not applied, images are missing, Javascript is not executed.

Enable debug logging with setDebugLog() to troubleshoot the cause. In general, our converter can't download external images, style sheets and Javascript if

  • Your API implementation uses convertFile...() or convertString...() family of API functions and your HTML document refers external assets using relative URLs.
  • If the external assets reside in your intranet or on your localhost.

Here are possible workarounds:

  • You can zip all external assets along with the HTML document and pass on the zip file to one of the convertFile...() API functions.
  • If the assets are accessible on the public Internet, you can refer to them using absolute URLs:
    <img src="https://example.com/images/image.png">.
  • An alternative is to use relative URLs in a combination with the <base> element.

Animation in the page is not finished.

We strongly recommend to disable animations in the converted HTML documents. Charting frameworks usually provide such an option. If that's not possible, you can try setJavascriptDelay().

Custom fonts are not showing properly.

Custom fonts can be defined with the @font-face CSS rule. An example:

  <style>
    @font-face
    {
      font-family: 'Helvetica';
      src: url(https://yourserver.com/fonts/Helvetica.ttf) format('truetype');
      font-weight: normal;
      font-style: normal;
    }

    body
    {
      font-family: Helvetica;
    }
  </style>

The web server serving the font has to add the "Access-Control-Allow-Origin: *" HTTP header to the font response. Use the following links to configure your web server:

Migration from Legacy API v1

What's new in the API v2?

  • The API implements the latest HTML5, CSS3 and JavaScript specifications.
  • We added new converters that can convert between HTML, PDF and various image formats
  • The API is highly available with automatic capacity scaling. It is hosted in the Google Cloud Platform.
  • New HTML to PDF features:
    • Linearized PDFs for fast web view.
    • Post-load DOM manipulation via custom JavaScript (remove, add and modify elements).
    • A new option to specify a delay to wait before printing if the page loads dynamic content.
    • A new option to send session specific information via cookies.
    • A new option to print only a part of HTML content.
    • Multi-page watermarks and backgrounds to allow filling in scanned PDF forms.
    • Detailed conversion logs that can help with troubleshooting.
    • Intuitive HTML zoom.
  • The API solves many issues the current HTML to PDF converter had:
    • Modern JavaScript charting libraries (Google Charts, Highcharts, etc.)
    • Improved remote font support (Google Fonts, Typekit, etc.)
    • CJK languages and complex scripts (Arabic alphabet, Brahmic scripts).
    • Repeating <thead>, paletted PNG, inline SVG and many more.

Should I migrate from the legacy API to API v2?

The new API is based on the latest web technologies and solves many issues with the legacy API. We definitely encourage you to give the new API a try.

The new API introduces minor backward incompatible changes but the migration from the current API should be straightforward. Just upgrade your API client library to the latest version and follow the new documentation. You can run both API implementations side-by-side.

The legacy API will stay available for accounts that were created prior introducing the API v2. However the legacy API will no longer receive any updates and we will provide support for critical issues only.

API pricing

Can I change or cancel my monthly API plan at any time?

Yes, you can cancel or change your monthly plan at any time.

Do unused credits roll over from month to month?

No, they are reset each month on the subscription start day.

What if my credit usage goes over the monthly API plan quota?

Don't worry - we won't cut you off! If you hit the limit, we will send you a notification email but your account will stay fully functional. We tolerate occasional overruns. However, you are expected to upgrade if you exceed the plan quota by a significant margin or on a regular basis.

Billing

What payments methods do you support?

  • Monthly plans (automatically recurring) - Visa or MasterCard, AMEX is not supported at the moment
  • Annual or 6-months licenses (one-off) - Paypal, Visa or MasterCard

Where can I download my invoices?

You can download your invoices in your account page.

Browser conversion (web form and add-on)

Some content is missing from the output.

Pdfcrowd tries to remove ads and elements that obstruct the page content by default. This can sometimes remove content that is valid. You can disable ad blocking with the Try to block ads switch or increase/disable the Remove obscuring content with z-index option.

Can I use a single Browser license on multiple PCs?

Yes, you can use it on multiple PCs. However, you can't share your login among multiple users.

Compliance

Is Pdfcrowd GDPR compliant (EU General Data Protection Regulation)?

Pdfcrowd is GDPR compliant. If your input documents contain third parties' personal data, you can review and accept our Data Processing Agreement.

Is Pdfcrowd HIPAA compliant?

No, we are not HIPAA compliant.