Online PDF Generator

Online PDF generator now available. This simple but useful online PDF generator tool allows you to generate PDF document online from HTML snippets. The tool uses Flying Saucer library.

The PDF is generated with full compression, including meta data in PDF properties. Keep in mind that for successful PDF generation, your HTML markup has to validate as XHTML 1.0 Transitional, which means <img> becomes <img /> or <p> must be terminated by the matching </p>.

You can provide URL to your own CSS file with styles for your HTML snippet or to provide a “style” attribute on HTML elements. If URL or “style” attribute are not specified, default system styles will be applied on your HTML snippet.

I hope this helps.


Export Pebble Blog Entry to PDF Plugin

In one of my previous posts, I described how I implemented a plug in for Pebble blogging software that allows export of blog entries to PDF.

Today, I have made modifications to enable plug in to load font files at run time during PDF generation to provide support for additional non-Latin languages. So now, it is possible to export non-Lain characters from blog entries to PDF.

Below, I’ve added some content using different languages. To allow support for non-Latin languages, I am using font file cyberbit.ttf by Bitstream. You can test the plugin’s multilingual support by generating PDF from the current post.

I think its comes out quite nicely. The only hitch at this moment is that Flying Saucer does not have support for right-to-left text in PDF yet.

Japanese Kanji:

Japanese Hiragana

Japanese Katakana

Japanese Kokuji

Chinese Simplified:

Chinese Traditional:

안녕하세요,이 사실을 확인하는 테스트 텍스트입니다

مرحبا ، هذا هو اختبار لتحديد نص الحقيقة

שלום, זוהי בדיקה טקסט כדי לקבוע את האמת

Привет, это тест текста, чтобы определить истину

Γεια σας, αυτό το κείμενο είναι μια δοκιμασία για τον προσδιορισμό της αλήθειας


Xin chào, đây là một bài kiểm tra văn bản để xác định sự thật

Merhaba, bu gerçeği belirlemek için bir test metin

Export to PDF using iText and Flying Saucer

In my previous post I attempted to generate PDF on the fly using iText library. My goal was to parse HTML snippet into PDF. Unfortunately, as I discovered iText alone is not powerful enough as HTML parser. iText is not flexible enough to manipulate the CSS. Its understandable, since iText‘s main functionality is PDF generation and not HTML parsing.

While trying to find workaround iText limitations, I came across Flying Saucer Java library. Flying Saucer is XML/XHTML/CSS 2.1 renderer, that uses iText and allows to render CSS stylesheets and XHTML, either static or generated, directly to PDFs.

I want to say that Flying Saucer does a beautiful job. You can check this out by trying to export current post to PDF :)

Joshua Marinacci, the Flying Saucer project lead wrote a nice tutorial that explains how to generate PDF using Flying Saucer.

Export to PDF Using iText Java-PDF Library

I had some time during this weekend, so I used iText, free Java-PDF library to make a plug in for Pebble blogging software. This plug in now allows to export blog entries to PDF document.

I liked this library, except one thing – converting HTML snippets to PDF. The library allows you to set styles to HTML tags during export.

The conversion is done with the help of HTMLWorker class. It is also possible to assign different styles to tags supported by HTMLWorker:

ol ul li a pre font span br p div body table td th tr i b u sub sup em
strong s strike h1 h2 h3 h4 h5 h6 img

Unfortunately there isn’t much documentation on what you can do for styles. So after poking through the source code, and going through iText mailing lists for examples, my results were a bit disappointing.

The PDF export works fine, except the case when blog entry has images. In that case, images exported to PDF having text overlaying on top of them.

I am hoping, that some of the people who had done a lot of work in the past using iText, will be able to share their experience.

Recent update:
In my later post, I talk about Flying Saucer Java library, which is XML/XHTML/CSS 2.1 renderer, that uses iText and allows to render CSS stylesheets and XHTML, either static or generated, directly to PDFs.

Blogging Software Pebble is Almost Six Years Old!

Simon Brown, the creator of Pebble blogging tool has retired. He stepped back due to personal reasons after 5 years of leading the Pebble project. Pebble is an open source blogging tool, written in Java. The following post, is the first post when Simon announced release of Pebble.

I have been using Pebble for the past year, and I have to say that I am absolutely pleased and delighted. As a Java programmer I find this blogging application to be simply amazing. It is highly configurable, and if you want to extend its functionality – you can! It is very easy to create your plug-in and add it to Pebble system. Off course you need to understand a bit of programming in Java to be able to do so.

Pebble is not as full featured tool as WordPress for example, but it has strong support of loyal followers that contribute to the project with new features and enhancements. As time passes by, Pebble’s community only getting bigger and stronger. A t this moment, Pebble has all the necessary features that powerful blogging tool must have. You can make a really powerful website with the help of Pebble.

I really did not mean to let this post to sound like some promo, its just Pebble is so great that I am just happy to spread the word :)

Thank you Simon, and good luck in your future endeavors.

Pebble 2.3 Application Blog

Finally i got my own blog…. wooo hooo! As a first entry in my blog i would like to express a HUGE gratitude to Simon Brown for creating this amazing application. It is j2ee application, and it does not need a database. Blog content is stored as XML files on disk and served up dynamically. As a Java fan my self i find it truly amazing and neat. So …. THANK YOU Simon!!