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Generate pdfs with Google Chrome on a Forge provisioned server

While working on one of our projects my colleague Sebastian had to create a pdf with some text and charts. In a new post on his blog he explains how he leveraged headless Chrome to create the pdf.

This week I needed to export some charts generated with HTML & JavaScript as a pdf file. I already had implemented the charts on a webpage so I wanted a solution that allowed me to use my existing code for the pdfs.

Headless Chrome to the rescue! Chrome can run as a cli tool, and print a pdf file from a url. Al I had to do was make some layout tweaks to make everything printer-friendly.


Meanwhile support for creating pdfs has been added to our Browsershot package (which also uses headless Chrome under the hood).

Here’s how you can convert a webpage to a pdf using the package:

Freek Van der Herten is a partner and developer at Spatie, an Antwerp based company that specializes in creating web apps with Laravel. After hours he writes about modern PHP and Laravel on this blog. When not coding he’s probably rehearsing with his kraut rock band. He loves waffles and butterflies.