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pdf creation, from html or other options?

html to pdf

     
4:21 pm on Oct 21, 2010 (gmt 0)

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my requirement is for a .net library which allows html-pdf conversion so I can create invoices that I can send in an email to people that sign up on my site.

later on I also need to have use for slightly more complex reports that also will have images in (created in silverlight).

the only software options I can find thats seems straight forward is

* ExpertPDF (also being sold as winnovative/HTML to PDF) but thats $550- simple but expensive
* iTextSharp - but I am told the html parser isnt that good, so each report needs programing to, so I will probably have to pay more for a developer to create each report.
* Also crystal reports and microsoft report viewer, have been mentioned, I am not sure on prices but I wouldnt have thought they were cheap either.I dont think they do html to pdf but I might be able to get around that)

Does anyone have opionions on the above, or other options, that are simple to implement from a developer perspective,( ie each report doesnt have to be created using pages of c#) and ideally not very expensive.

...one other factor that may make a difference is that I want to later is i want to be able to make the reports available in other languages, russian, japanese, arabic etc

and help/ideas feedback greatly appreciated.
3:58 pm on Oct 22, 2010 (gmt 0)

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I have used a product by Aspose, which can convert html, word documents to PDF.

Aspose.Words [aspose.com]

It is not cheap, for a developer enterprise subscription code about $900. They have decent support forum, and release regular updates.
4:28 pm on Oct 22, 2010 (gmt 0)

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This site claims to be free:
[pdfonfly.com...]

The meta description on their pages includes:

API allows developers to create PDF from php, asp, .net and other scripting languages.


Though I was unable to find a reference anywhere on their site. Might be worth contacting them though.
10:09 pm on Oct 22, 2010 (gmt 0)

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pdfonfly.com will probably have a watermark or some other kind of branding on it. No such thing as a free lunch ;)

I've used iTextSharp numerous times. Yes, you need to do all the work yourself, but I'm not exactly sure why you need an HTML to PDF converter. With iTextSharp you can literally design your own form, and fill in the values. My opinion is that this is your bet of coming up with something that's exactly what you need in the end.
10:10 pm on Oct 22, 2010 (gmt 0)

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At this time, pdfonfly.com's site looks to be down.
10:15 pm on Oct 22, 2010 (gmt 0)

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Rather than using a prebuilt tool you should consider using a PHP PDF library that will allow you to write the code to compose your own PDFs.

Check out this PDFlib for PHP:
[php.net...]

Take note of the PDF_begin_document function
[php.net...]

A little more labor intensive but it will give you way more control over the process. According to some of the comments there is a lite version as well.
2:47 am on Oct 23, 2010 (gmt 0)

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ExpertPDF is excellent. I too was hoping to find something cheaper, but after working with several in demo mode, I bit the bullet.

I have used it to create invoices, among many other tasks.
1:05 pm on Oct 23, 2010 (gmt 0)

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Demaestro, I think he was looking for a .NET library :)
 

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