cloudformatter format requests: 1,042,835    pages delivered: 2,735,589

Usage Instructions

xportability LLC

Usage Instructions


css2pdf is a simple to use Javascript for CSS to PDF rendering that can easily be plugged-in to your website.


The basic method is to include a print button in your website with a click handler that calls the xepOnline.Formatter method "Format". The "Format" method takes a single element by ID or an array of element IDs. The resulting PDF is a single set of pages for each element ID (and children). PDF is produced from a hosted PDF rendering service. PDF is returned to the client browser as either an embeddable PDF or as a download. Certain features (like embedding PDFs) are not available on all browsers. Safari and Internet Explorer only support download. Chrome and Firefox support both download or embed.

All HTML, CSS, and CSS media styling will be applied to the print selection(s) including print media CSS rules. Note: some framework's11 Twitter Bootstrap do have undesirable print media rules, therefore we have chosen to eliminate these by default22 See documention on Format Options if you would like to disable this default behavior.

Get jQuery

Be sure to include the jQuery Javascript library.

Get xepOnline.jqPlugin

You can either just include the one from this website or download here.

The project is also hosted on Github where you can download.

Include the library:

    <script src="xepOnline.jqPlugin.js"></script>

The default configuration in the plug-in sends data to an external server via http. All the available formatting servers have https implementations also. Within the xepOnline.jqPlugin.is file you can change these constants for the formatter:

  • xep_chandra_service: 'https://xep.cloudformatter.com/Chandra.svc/genpackage'
  • xep_chandra_service_AS_PDF: 'https://xep.cloudformatter.com/Chandra.svc/genfile'
  • xep_chandra_service_page_images: 'https://xep.cloudformatter.com/Chandra.svc/genpageimages'

You can of course just include the Javascript from our site and override these variables in your own Javascript code. If you are running the Javascript from an https secure site, you will need to use the SSL secure links.

Use it:

Then you include a print button element like this in your HTML:

    <a href="#" onclick="return xepOnline.Formatter.Format('Usage');">
        <img src="button-print.png">

Where "Usage" is the ID of the element to print.

A number of options can be passed to achieve various effects on the print output, including page media sizing and margins, as well as instruct the rendering engine to return an embedded PDF in a new window or a downloadable PDF. All the options are described below.

Example: For A4 letter size (216mm x 279mm) output, one would write the "Format" as:

    <a href="#" onclick="return xepOnline.Formatter.Format('Usage',
                {pageWidth:'216mm', pageHeight:'279mm'});">
        <img src="button-print.png">

Example: Force the PDF to download rather than embedded in a new window:

    <a href="#" onclick="return xepOnline.Formatter.Format('Usage',{render:'download'});">
        <img src="button-print.png">

Example: Setting some default CSS options for the <div> in case you wish to override them

    <a href="#" onclick="return xepOnline.Formatter.Format('testDIV',{render:'download', 
         <img src="button-print.png"/>

Example: Adding namespaces used in the document for specialized attributes

    <a href="#" onclick="return xepOnline.Formatter.Format('testDIV',{render:'download', 
         <img src="button-print.png"/>


  • embedLocalImages - [default 'false'] - set this to true if you are testing with locally hosted images. While it will not solve all your issues, it will embed any locally referenced <img> as base64 encoded before sending to the backend. This does not embed images you use as background-image or by other means like through CSS, but it will embed locally referenced images you have through <img> tags.
  • processPseudoElem - [default 'true'] Controls whether pseudo elements before: and after: are processed or ignored. Note that if this is set to false, such icon sets as Glyphicons and Fontawesome will not work as their libraries use these pseudo elements.
  • pageWidth - [default 8.5in] Printed Media Page Width
  • pageHeight - [default 11in] Printed Media Page Height
  • pageMargin - [default 0.5in] Printed Media Page Margin Dimensions (short-hand)
  • pageMarginTop - Printed Media Page Margin Top Dimension
  • pageMarginRight - Printed Media Page Margin Right Dimension
  • pageMarginBottom - Printed Media Page Margin Bottom Dimension
  • pageMarginLeft - Printed Media Page Margin Left Dimension
  • pageMediaResource - A fully qualified URL to your own stylesheet
  • namespaces - an array of namespace strings to be added to the document. You need to do this if you are using any specialized library that would add namespaces to attributes. These are for the most part ignored at the backend transformation, but it would be an error if not including them.
  • cssStyle - CSS styles to place directly on the container element (to override computed styles) as an array of objects whose key/value is the camel case CSS style name and a string value
  • foStyle - FO styles to place directly on the container element (to override cssStyles during XSL-FO rendering) as an array of objects whose key/value is the camel case CSS style name and a string value
  • render - options to control the result of the rendering
    • none - Runs the client-side HTML+CSS and media styling without document rendering
    • newwin - [default on Firefox and Chrome] Embeds the rendered document into a new window. Client must enable pop-up's for this to work!
    • download - [default and only option on Internet Explorer and Safari as well as all mobile browsers] After document rendering the user is prompted to download and save the document result
    • embed - The resulting document is embed into (and replaces) the same <div> as the request
  • srctype - [default 'xml'] Optionally used to control what is formatted. If you set this to the string 'svg', the first svg element in the containing div will be formatted alone.
  • filename - [default 'document'] Optionally used to name the downloaded file, the server will add the appropriate extension based on the mimetype of the requested document
  • mimeType - [default 'application/pdf'] Optionally used control the formatter to create the type of result:
    • application/pdf for PDF documents
    • image/svg+xml for SVG documents
    • image/png for PNG page images
    • image/jpg for JPG page images
    • image/gif for GIF page images
    • application/vnd.ms-xpsdocument for XPS documents You must ensure that you use only Truetype Fonts from the @cloudformatter server. XPS documents require Truetype fonts.
    • application/postscript for Postscript documents
    • application/xep for RenderX XEP (structure tree) documents which is an XML file
  • resolution - [default '120'] Resolution for image output (applies to image mimetypes image/png, image/jpg and image/gif)

All options are optional and will defer to their default values when not specified


There is one event that is triggered during the process which passes a parameter. The event is attached to the document and is named xepOnlineStatus. You can hook to this event and evaluate the value of a passsed parameter. This parameter will contain the state of the process and currently only has two values. When the formatting starts, xepOnlineStatus will pass Started as a param. For embed and newwin modes of rendering, xepOnlineStatus is triggered with Finished when the whole process has ended and the result is received. For download mode, xepOnlineStatus will trigger Finished as soon as the HTML is scraped and posted to be formatted. You can examine the code behind these pages to see how this is used to create the spinner during formatting.

Behind the Scenes

This plugin computes the CSS style for each element within the selected print container(s), including all internal, external, and print media CSS rules puts the style directly on the element. The "computed" html source is then sent to the @cloudformatter XEPOnline rendering engine. @cloudformatter is capable of receiving any XML document with an embedded XSL Stylesheet reference for formatting. The rendering engine translates the "computed" XHTML33(Extensible HyperText Markup Language) is a family of XML markup languages that mirror or extend versions of the widely used Hypertext Markup Language (HTML), the language in which Web pages are written. source to XSL-FO44XSL Formatting Objects, or XSL-FO, is a markup language for XML document formatting which is most often used to generate PDFs. XSL-FO is part of XSL, a set of W3C technologies designed for the transformation and formatting of XML data. and then Renders the PDF.

Google Fonts

@cloudformatter rendering service is configured with many fonts including the 50 most popular Google Fonts. To try out these fonts visit our demo page. Feel free to use any of these fonts your web applications and they will be used perfectly in your PDF rendering! Refer to Google Fonts for more information on this Open Source service.


You can check out modify and fork a simple sample on JSFiddle.

Notes on Implementation

One of the most frequent questions we get is "My images are not appearing ...". @cloudformatter is a remote server that is performing the composition to various formats. If you are running tests on your own "localhost", then you are sending something like this to the remote server:

<img src="http://localhost/myimages/image.png"/>

And of course the remote server cannot find that image on its own localhost. If you wish to test locally with images, you can either use data:uri and include base64 encoded images inside your test pages or put these images somewhere on an available website.