PDFShift - Product Stars
Best products of September 2018

PDFShift

Convert any HTML to PDF with a single POST request.

Upvotes 986 PH Page >
Cyril
Maker
Hi everyone! Really excited to be here today! I’ve been building stuff for the web and when I started charging for it, I found out that generating an invoice in PDF was a pain in the … well, it was not that easy. I used to work with libraries but they were always missing a few things and took some server resources that could have been better used to serve my visitors. That’s why I came up with the idea of PDFSHift. I know I’m not the first - and certainly not the last - but after looking at the alternatives online, I thought that the current offer was out of date and a new, more up-to-date, services, could be useful. I focus a lot of efforts on offering a great customer service, ready to help anyone to make their PDF awesome and I already received a few great feedbacks from my users :) I’m here all day to answer all your comments and question, and happy to chat!
Sascha Greuel (SoftCreatR)
@cx42net Congrats :) Didn't had the time yet to build, what i've planned. But will do soon and then use your great product :)
Cyril
Maker
@softcreatr Thank you! :) Take your time, and you know you can reach out if you need help!
David Polberger
@cx42net Hi Cyril, PDFShift looks nice. We're considering moving away from our home-grown solution (which uses the Flying Saucer XHTML renderer in conjunction with a PDF back end: https://github.com/flyingsaucerproject/flyingsaucer). However, Google introduced headless Chrome support in Cloud Functions and App Engine less than a month ago (https://cloud.google.com/blog/products/gcp/introducing-headless-chrome-support-in-cloud-functions-and-app-engine). How does Google's offering compare to PDFShift in terms of pricing, availability, customizability and rendering fidelity? (If you're also using Chrome or Chromium, rendering should be identical.)
Cyril
Maker
@davidpolberger Hi David, that's an awesome question! I was working on PDFShift when I saw the release and was a bit stressed when I learned about it. But I tested it, and I understood we aren't in the same market: Google AppEngine is a IaaS and as such, it's much harder to setup a system to convert HTML to PDF using their tool. It's not the direct aim, and it will require a bit of work. With PDFShift, you just have to make POST call to make it work, so there's less work involved :) Also, after testing it, I realized it's awfully slow, at least for now (I hope they'll improve it. If it becomes really efficient, I might switch the backend to their). It took 20s to convert the front page of ProductHunt :/
Cedric Amaya
Super neat product, will definitely be trying this out! Btw @cx42net, looks like there's some `z-index` issues with your ProductHunt banner on the homepage (Firefox 62.0, macOS 10.13.6).
Cyril
Maker
@cedricamaya Oh yes! I was so excited to release it that I didn't scoll.. It's fixed now :)
Cyril
Maker
@cedricamaya By the way, if you need any help while setting up PDFShift, you can always reach me out, I'll be happy to help; one of the core motivation of PDFShift is to provide an awesome customer experience ;)
Arsen Hakobian
I need this!
Cyril
Maker
@arsen_hakobian Good thing we offer it then :) If you need any help, feel free to reach out!
Igityan Hayarpy
Could you tell me the duration? Is it just one click?
Cyril
Maker
@igityan_hayarpy It depends on the size of the document you want to convert and the external resource used. If you send a basic HTML with no style and js, it will be amazingly fast. But if you send an URL that contains dozens of CSS script to load on various server on the globe, PDFShift will have to load, wait for the network to get the file before converting it, which adds time to the conversion. I hope that helps :)
Dan Dan
FYI on Chrome 69 / Mac, the product hunt bar overlaps the logo and the main nav, the close button is not clickable. See screenshot. http://defaria.me/Screen%20Shot%202018-09-11%20at%209.37.51%20AM.png
Cyril
Maker
@tostartafire Nice catch! It's fixed :)
Vahagn Mkrtchyan
How is it different from using https://github.com/GoogleChrome/puppeteer
Cyril
Maker
@vahagn_mkrtchyan Almost none ;) Truth is, we use a modified version of Puppeteer in the backend, with advanced features and some twists. But the big advantage compared to Puppeteer is the fact that the hardware resource needed to convert is outsourced, leaving your computer with free resource to handle more request or serve them faster.
Dcfmyr
Hi Cyril, it looks neat, well done! Any thoughts on privacy? I could clearly use this but would most likely need it for private documents.
Cyril
Maker
@machimapun We don't store the request you send, only a hash of it along with the duration it took and the date. The document returned is not stored on our servers at all.
Matt Cogenli
Great idea! Congrats! Can we create fillable PDFs?
Cyril
Maker
@mattcogenli That's a really interesting question! For now it doesn't work, but I've marked it to see if we can implement it in the future! Thanks :)
Vitold Sedyshev
Could you please make subscribe service. I send web addres with article you prepare PDF and delivery to eBook by address or email or by application. It offline reading article.
Cyril
Maker
@vit1251 That's interesting. How would you send it? Via a POST request? Get request? via email? I'm curious to know the intricacy of it. But it wouldn't send an ebook, but a PDF (that's the purpoes of the service ; making a PDF, not an ebook ;) ).
Vitold Sedyshev
@cx42net right now I use Instapaper for deffer reading article but service unable to convert some page and sync is require time and wakeup. You may make UI or extension for browser and email address on start for send message with PDF of article. It some think like newspaper subscribe service. Another one is create RSS with article inside PDF.
Joseph Rex
Can you also provide a URL to PDF converter? Such that pdfshift.io?website=mywebsite.com will give me a PDF of mywebsite.com based on the print stylesheet? This will be really nice. You can still filter the traffic to authorized users only by providing a script that needs to be embedded with the API key before the link works
Cyril
Maker
@joerex101 That's something I'm trying to figure out. Many users requested me that feature (or the possibility to do the conversion from the client side using Javascript request). My main issue here is that the API key will be public and might be abused. Filtering by website is one possibility, but can be easily spoofed so not secure at all. I'm working on how to do that best, but it will be possible in a near future for sure! Thank you for your message :)
Joseph Rex
@cx42net You can request users to enter the website/host that'll be making the request into your platform. That way you only respond to requests from a legitimate host or list of hosts even if the API key is stolen. An extra plus if the user obfuscates their use of the key on the web client but shouldn't matter.
Cyril
Maker
@joerex101 That's the issue :/ Filtering by the host isn't secure, it's really easy to spoof that value. I need to find a more secure way to do so. (you can add a "Host: the-host.com" header in a request, and it will work)
Jirka Třečák
Excellent product. Congratulations on the launch - will definitely use it as we are just building an invoice generator for our system :) Thanks for making it
Cyril
Maker
@jirka_trecak Thank you!! If you need any help setting it up, feel free to reach out to me :)
Camilo Bejarano
Awesome! Can Dropbox Paper be listening to this thread? Much needed implementation.
Cyril
Maker
@cbejarano_ai I don't mind working hand in hand with Dropbox ! :)
djmonta
It doesn't work rendering the web pages using Japanese characters at all... but I think its' a nice try!
Cyril
Maker
@djmonta Hi! That's a surprise! We had a few Japanese clients and I've worked with them rendering the page, and it worked well. Could you reach out to me via support@pdfshift.io to discuss this further? I'll help you make it work! :)
Henning Lokus
Great idea with the "Get more free conversions"...! (https://pdfshift.io/increase)
Cyril
Maker
@leanderb ;) Thanks! A few people are actually using them but I think they aren't enough put in front, I need to work on that!
Tyler Makin
Seems really neat, but there is a typo in the error message. I tried creating a PDF and it said "No server where found" but I'm guessing it should be "No server was found". Beautiful web design too, great job!
Cyril
Maker
@tyler_makin Thank you for that ... but this error shouldn't occur, I'll investigate (and fix that error message ;) )
Guy Hobbs
If I don’t ask I’ll never know — what would I use this for?
Cyril
Maker
@guy_hobbs1 No Problems Guy :) It's mainly to automate things like sending a PDF invoice to your customer by email when they do a payment, or send them a daily report of their dashboard/analytics/statistics/etc. These are easier automated as you won't have to do anything after that. Hope that clarifies it.
Gregg Blanchard
Good stuff. Excited to give this a try. Currently using pdfcrowd but not totally stoked on output without some hacks coded into the html.
Cyril
Maker
@greggblanchard Thank you Gregg! Feel free to reach out if you are having any difficulties. The output should be straightforward.
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