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PHP Client & Sample code

In this section you will find details about how to use the PHP client libraries for the Muhimbi PDF Converter Services Online. If you prefer to bypass these wrapper libraries, and rather send JSON code to the REST based service directly, then please see the section containing raw JSON examples

If a cloud-based service is not suitable to your needs (e.g. for security or regulatory reasons), and you have the ability to deploy software to your own (Windows) server, then check out the Muhimbi PDF Converter Services and this PHP sample code.

Table of contents


The prerequisites to access the PDF Converter from PHP are as follows:

  • PHP 5.4.0 and later
  • PHP Curl libraries (See platform specific steps below)
  • PHP Open SSL libraries (See platform specific steps below)

Exact deployment and configuration steps for the various platforms vary slightly. The ones for Linux, tested with Ubuntu, and Windows are provided below.


Deployment of the prerequisites is straight-forward. Feel free to adjust the steps if you need to deploy a different PHP version, providing it is version 5.4.0 or later.

On Ubuntu 14.04

sudo apt-get install php5
sudo apt-get install php5-curl

On Ubuntu 16.04

sudo apt-get install php7.0-cli
sudo apt-get install php7.0-curl

The OpenSSL libraries are typically pre-compiled into PHP and don't need to be installed separately. To verify that OpenSSL is available in your PHP version, create and execute a PHP file with the following content:

<?php phpinfo() ?>

Access this page via a browser and check 'OpenSSL support' shows as enabled.


Deploy the prerequisites for Windows as follows:

  1. Download and install the appropriate PHP version. We recommend installing it in c:\php.
  2. Edit php.ini and check that the following two extensions are enabled.
    • extension=php_curl.dll
    • extension=php_openssl.dll
  3. To prevent SSL related errors, either switch the sample code to use http://api.muhimbi.com (not the default https) or install the appropriate certificates as follows.
    • Download ca-bundle.crt and save it in a location of your choice (in this example we use c:\php)
    • Add the following lines to php.ini:

Configure PHP (same for all platforms)

When dealing with document conversions and merge operations, the default values for upload_max_filesize and post_max_size may be too conservative and should be increased to a value that matches your requirements and subscription level.

This can be achieved by updating, or adding, the following values in 'php.ini':

upload_max_filesize = 10M
post_max_size = 10M

Client libraries

With the prerequisites in place, install the PDF Converter's client libraries using one of the methods described below.

Installing the pre-generated client

Time is precious, so with that in mind, the easiest way to get going is to download the pre-generated client libraries and unzip them to a location in your PHP project.

Generating the client from scratch

❗️ This is an advanced topic, most developers do not need to generate the client from scratch ❗️

If the pre-generated client libraries are not suiting your needs, then you may want to manually generate them. If you need more control over namespaces, or feel very strongly about the variable naming convention used by our default client, then this is the way forward. snake_case vs camelCase, important stuff!

Using the command line

All the PDF Converter's client libraries are generated from the Swagger API definition file using swagger-codegen.

You can either download a precompiled version of swagger-codegen or build it from scratch.

Download the precompiled version as follows:

wget https://oss.sonatype.org/content/repositories/releases/io/swagger/swagger-codegen-cli/2.2.2/swagger-codegen-cli-2.2.2.jar -O swagger-codegen-cli.jar

java -jar swagger-codegen-cli.jar help

This downloads version 2.2.2 and, assuming all is well, shows a brief help section. As newer versions are released from time to time, you may want to check what the latest version number is.

If, rather than taking a 'fixed-in-time' precompiled version of swagger-codegen, you prefer the very latest version then you can compile it as described below.

To build from source, you need the following installed and available in your $PATH:

  • JDK 7 or 8
  • Apache maven 3.3.3 or greater

Instructions for Linux (Tested in Ubuntu) are as follows.

sudo apt-get install default-jdk
sudo apt-get install maven
git clone https://github.com/swagger-api/swagger-codegen
cd swagger-codegen
mvn clean package

This installs the Java Development Kit, the Maven build system, downloads the latest swagger-codegen source and builds it. Assuming the build process completes without error, swagger-codegen-cli.jar can be found under modules/swagger-codegen-cli/target/.

Instructions are correct at the time of writing, but for the latest details about building codegen, compiling on different platforms, or downloading a pre-compiled version of swagger-codegen-cli.jar, see codegen's Readme file.

Regardless of swagger-codegen-cli.jar being downloaded or compiled, the PHP libraries can now be generated as follows:

java -jar swagger-codegen-cli.jar \
     generate \
     -i https://api.muhimbi.com/api-docs/v1/swagger.json \
     -l php \
     -o MuhimbiPDFOnline-client

You may need to adjust the path to the jar file.

The command provided above generates the PHP client using the default settings, including a unit-test framework and incomplete documentation. As this is of no use to us, and we need to tweak some other settings, you can find the exact command we used in generate-client.sh

Using editor.swagger.io

For a quick-and-dirty way to generate client libraries for the language of your choice, use the web based editor.swagger.io system.

  1. Open editor.swagger.io
  2. From the File menu select Import URL
  3. Enter https://raw.githubusercontent.com/Muhimbi/PDF-Converter-Services-Online/master/swagger/v1/muhimbi-pdf-online-swagger.json
  4. From the Generate Client menu select the language of your choice.

Sample code

Sample code, and related files, for the various facilities provided by this service can be found below. It is recommended to copy all samples to your local system using one of the following options:

  • Git: Use the following command to clone the entire repository to your system. This will download all files associated with this repository, and is most likely overkill, but it is the only easy way to download files using Git. Once downloaded, you can find the examples under the clients/v1/php/samples folder.

    git clone https://github.com/Muhimbi/PDF-Converter-Services-Online/

  • SVN: A common trick to download only part of a Git repository is to use svn. Download only the PHP client and sample code using the following command.

    svn export https://github.com/Muhimbi/PDF-Converter-Services-Online/trunk/clients/v1/php

  • ZIP: Download a ZIP archive of the entire repository. Once downloaded, you can find the examples under the clients/v1/php/samples folder.

An example is provided for each individual REST endpoint. A full overview can be found below.

Sample Description
convert Convert a single file to PDF or other supported output format.
convert_html Convert an HTML fragment, or URL, to PDF.
merge_to_pdf Combine multiple files, and URLs, into a single PDF.
ocr_pdf Convert a scan, fax or other image into a searchable PDF.
ocr_text Use OCR to extract text from a scan, fax or other image.
secure_pdf Apply security settings, passwords and restrictions to a PDF.
split_pdf Split a large PDF into smaller PDFs.
   text_watermark Add a simple text watermark to a PDF file.
   rtf_watermark Add a rich text (RTF) based watermark to a PDF file.
   image_watermark Add an image based watermark to a PDF file.
   qr_code_watermark Add a QR Code to a PDF file.
   pdf_watermark Add a PDF based watermark to a PDF file.
   ellipse_watermark Add an ellipse based watermark to a PDF file.
   line_watermark Add a line based watermark to a PDF file.
   rectangle_watermark Add a rectangle based watermark to a PDF file.
   composite_watermark Add a number of different watermarks to a PDF file in a single operation.

API / Documentation

Although the API is largely self-describing, especially when used in code editors with intellisense and code-complete, from time to time it may be easier to consult the full API documentation. An overview of the entire object model can be found in the Wiki.

If you have any questions or comments then please contact our friendly support desk.