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Generate branded client PDF files from database items created by your apps.

This clever plugin has numerous, useful applications. For example enabling CMS users to login and quickly create a branded client quotation which can then be downloaded and emailed.

How to

Configure environment

After installing you should be ready to go, but in a lot of cases, you will have to set an absolute path to the executable binary of wkhtmltopdf in backend settings.

Sometimes you may wish to customize it more:

  • tokenizing - if you want to add pseudorandom 15 chars token to the local filename. It does not affect downloaded filename so is set to true by default
  • directory where generated PDF files will be stored, temp_path() by default
  • removing PDFs files right after sending to the user, true by default
  • removing files older than the specified amount of seconds, two days by default


Here you have an example onDownloadPdf AJAX handler that generates PDF and downloads PDF by October's AJAX framework. As simple as that:

use Initbiz\Pdfgenerator\Classes\PdfGenerator;


* OctoberCMS AJAX handler to download PDF
public function onDownloadPdf()
    // Create a new PdfGenerator object with a filename as a parameter
    $pdfGenerator = new PdfGenerator("my-pdf");

    //Set absolute path of the Twig layout
    $pdfGenerator->layout = plugins_path().'/initbiz/exampleplugin/views/pdf/pdflayout.htm';

    //Set data which will be sent to the layout
    $pdfGenerator->data = ['viewData' => 'Value of viewData'];


    return $pdfGenerator->downloadPdf();

Fancier start :)

The plugin comes with a PdfLayout class that can be injected to PdfGenerator. The above example using the class will look as follows:

use Initbiz\Pdfgenerator\Classes\PdfGenerator;
use Initbiz\ExamplePlugin\PdfLayouts\ExampleLayout;

* OctoberCMS AJAX handler to download PDF
public function onDownloadPdf()
    //Set data which will be injected to the layout
    $data = ['viewData' => 'Value of viewData'];

    $layout = new ExampleLayout($data);

    // Create a new PdfGenerator object with a filename and the layout as parameters
    $pdfGenerator = new PdfGenerator($filename, $layout);


    return $pdfGenerator->downloadPdf();

It is a little cleaner, but take a look at the ExampleLayout class:

use Initbiz\Pdfgenerator\Classes\PdfLayout;

class ExampleLayout extends PdfLayout
    public function prepareData($data)

        $this->data['logo'] = $this->assetsPath.'/img/logo.png';
        $this->data['mdicss'] = $this->assetsPath.'/css/materialdesignicons.min.css';

        $this->data['fonts'] = [
            1 => [
                'name' => 'Material Design Icons',
                'src'  => $this->assetsPath.'/fonts/mdi/materialdesignicons-webfont.svg',
                'format' => 'svg'

and the files structure of our PdfLayouts directory:

├── examplelayout
│   ├── assets
│   │   ├── css
│   │   │   └── materialdesignicons.min.css
│   │   ├── fonts
│   │   │   └── mdi
│   │   │       └── materialdesignicons-webfont.svg
│   │   └── img
│   │       └── logo.png
│   └── default.htm
└── ExampleLayout.php

As you can see it is a very OctoberCMS styled format. Just create a class and corresponding directory with a lower-cased name.

It is a great way of organizing your PDF layouts with all assets they need to have included. Still keeping it as simple as possible, but not simpler :).

Troubleshooting and pro tips

Pro tip #1: fonts format

While working with PDFs you probably will want to beautify them as much as possible. They will be displaying images, custom fonts or icons. But sometimes wkhtmltopdf messes up a little.

Artifacts in rounded letters (O, B, P, R, etc...)

If you have included font using TrueType (ttf), then try to change it to OpenType (otf). If you do not have the file, then look for online converters. They are doing it pretty well.

Material Design Icons and Adobe Reader

If you add Material Design Icons (probably MDI are not the only case) Adobe Reader can have problems with reading the PDF (error 135). In this case, you should change MDI to the SVG version as in the above example. Then they appear as normal images.

Future plans

  • Managing layouts from CLI or backend settings
  • Looking for assets in shared directories

Let's talk...

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