Creating a dynamic PDF is the need for any project to fulfill your client’s need, It helps in the reporting section of your project. User can see all reports and also can download reports in PDF format or generate invoice in PDF and sent to Client directly, For these need dynamic PDF generation is the need of all the business projects, Every client demand for PDF reports and the auto-generated invoice or other required documents in their projects.
For full-filling, your client needs some popular open-source PDF Generation Libraries in PHP. This helps you to create dynamic PDFs for your projects.
TCPDF is a PHP library for generating PDF documents on-the-fly easily and with a couple of lines. It supports customization and a lot of key features when you work with the creation of PDF files.
This library supports Unicode fonts and it is actively maintained by Nicola Asuni in the Github repository.
It has an extensive collection of examples and ready-to-test snippets on its official homepage. TCPDF has as main features :
- No external libraries are required for the basic functions.
- all standard page formats, custom page formats, custom margins, and units of measure.
- UTF-8 Unicode and Right-To-Left languages.
- TrueTypeUnicode, OpenTypeUnicode v1, TrueType, OpenType v1, Type1 and CID-0 fonts.
- font subsetting.
- images, graphic (geometric figures), and transformation methods.
- supports JPEG, PNG and SVG images natively, all images supported by GD (GD, GD2, GD2PART, GIF, JPEG, PNG, BMP, XBM, XPM) and all images supported via ImagMagick (http://www.imagemagick.org/script/formats.php)
- 1D and 2D barcodes: CODE 39, ANSI MH10.8M-1983, USD-3, 3 of 9, CODE 93, USS-93, Standard 2 of 5, Interleaved 2 of 5, CODE 128 A/B/C, 2 and 5 Digits UPC-Based Extension, EAN 8, EAN 13, UPC-A, UPC-E, MSI, POSTNET, PLANET, RMS4CC (Royal Mail 4-state Customer Code), CBC (Customer Bar Code), KIX (Klant index – Customer index), Intelligent Mail Barcode, Onecode, USPS-B-3200, CODABAR, CODE 11, PHARMACODE, PHARMACODE TWO-TRACKS, Datamatrix, QR-Code, PDF417.
- JPEG and PNG ICC profiles, Grayscale, RGB, CMYK, Spot Colors and Transparencies.
- automatic page header and footer management.
- document encryption up to 256 bit and digital signature certifications.
- transactions to UNDO commands.
- PDF annotations, including links, text and file attachments.
- text rendering modes (fill, stroke and clipping).
- multiple columns mode.
- no-write page regions.
- bookmarks, named destinations and table of content.
- text hyphenation.
- text stretching and spacing (tracking).
- automatic page break, line break and text alignments including justification.
- automatic page numbering and page groups.
- move and delete pages.
- Page compression (requires php-zlib extension).
- XOBject Templates.
- Layers and object visibility.
- PDF/A-1b support.
FPDF is a PHP class which allows generating PDF files with pure PHP, that is to say without using the PDFlib library. F from FPDF stands for Free: you may use it for any kind of usage and modify it to suit your needs. The class can produce documents in many languages other than the Western European ones: Central European, Cyrillic, Greek, Baltic, and Thai, provided you own TrueType or Type1 fonts with the desired character set. UTF-8 support is also available.
- Choice of measure unit, page format, and margins
- Page header and footer management
- Automatic page break
- Automatic line break and text justification
- Image support (JPEG, PNG, and GIF)
- TrueType, Type1, and encoding support
- Page compression
3.) Snappy (wkhtmltopdf):
Snappy is a PHP5 library allow thumbnail, snapshot, or PDF generation from a URL or a HTML page. It uses the excellent WebKit-based wkhtmltopdf and wkhtmltoimage available on OSX, Linux, windows. You will have to download wkhtmltopdf 0.12.x in order to use Snappy.
wkhtmltopdf and wkhtmltoimage are open source (LGPLv3) command line tools to render HTML into PDF and various image formats using the Qt WebKit rendering engine. These run entirely “headless” and do not require a display or display service.
You can even download a wkhtmltopdf distribution as a composer dependency and reference the Binary dynamically in your project.
Dompdf is (mostly) a CSS 2.1 compliant HTML layout and rendering engine written in PHP. It is a style-driven renderer: it will download and read external stylesheets, inline style tags, and the style attributes of individual HTML elements. It also supports most presentational HTML attributes.
- Handles most CSS 2.1 and a few CSS3 properties, including @import, @media & @page rules
- Supports most presentational HTML 4.0 attributes
- Supports external stylesheets, either local or through http/ftp (via fopen-wrappers)
- Supports complex tables, including row & column spans, separate & collapsed border models, individual cell styling
- Image support (gif, png (8, 24 and 32 bit with alpha channel), bmp & jpeg)
- No dependencies on external PDF libraries, thanks to the R&OS PDF class
- Inline PHP support
- Basic SVG support
mPDF is another useful library to create dynamic PDFs.mPDF website is now closed down but You can still download the latest mPDF package and some example files from the site. mPDF is based on FPDF and HTML2FPDF, with a number of enhancements. The script is able to process utf-8 encoded HTML code and is able to use CSS stylesheets for the generated PDF layout.
The automatic creation of PDF files is one of the most important points of a project (commercial or not). As probably, the generated PDF’s are not for you or team but for your demanding clients, you need to provide a solution that meets all expectations and requirements.
In some cases, not because of exaggerated customer requirements but the library you use to generate PDF’s, you’ll find yourself limited and most likely in problems to provide a solution for the client. In this article, we showed 5 of the most imponent PDF generation libraries that will help you to achieve those complex and extensive PDF’s.