🌐 β†’ πŸ“– A command-line tool to turn web pages into beautifully formatted PDFs
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README.md

percollate

Percollate is a command-line tool to turn web pages into beautifully formatted PDFs. See How it works.

Example Output

Example spread from the generated PDF of a chapter in Dimensions of Colour; rendered here in black & white for a smaller image file size.

Table of Contents

Installation

πŸ’‘ percollate needs Node.js version 8.6.0 or later, as it uses new(ish) JavaScript syntax. If you get SyntaxError: Unexpected token errors, check your Node version with node --version.

You can install percollate globally:

# using npm
npm install -g percollate

# using yarn
yarn global add percollate

To keep the package up-to-date, you can run:

# using npm, upgrading is the same command as installing
npm install -g percollate

# yarn has a separate command
yarn global upgrade --latest percollate

Usage

πŸ’‘ Run percollate --help for a list of available commands. For a particular command, percollate <command> --help lists all available options.

Available commands

Command What it does
percollate pdf Bundles one or more web pages into a PDF
percollate epub Not implemented yet
percollate html Not implemented yet

Available options

The pdf, epub, and html commands have these options:

Option What it does
-o, --output The path of the resulting bundle; when ommited, we derive the output file name from the title of the web page.
--individual Export each web page as an individual file.
--template Path to a custom HTML template
--style Path to a custom CSS
--css Additional CSS styles you can pass from the command-line to override the default/custom stylesheet styles

Examples

Basic PDF generation

To transform a single web page to PDF:

percollate pdf --output some.pdf https://example.com

To bundle several web pages into a single PDF, specify them as separate arguments to the command:

percollate pdf --output some.pdf https://example.com/page1 https://example.com/page2

You can use common Unix commands and keep the list of URLs in a newline-delimited text file:

cat urls.txt | xargs percollate pdf --output some.pdf

To transform several web pages into individual PDF files at once, use the --individual flag:

percollate pdf --individual --output some.pdf https://example.com/page1 https://example.com/page2

Custom page size / margins

The default page size is A5 (portrait). You can use the --css option to override it using any supported CSS size:

percollate pdf --output some.pdf --css "@page { size: A3 landscape }" http://example.com

Similarly, you can define:

  • custom margins: @page { margin: 0 }
  • the base font size: html { font-size: 10pt }

or, for that matter, any other style defined in the default / custom stylesheet.

Using a custom HTML template

⚠️ TODO add example here

Using a custom CSS stylesheet

⚠️ TODO add example here

Customizing the page header / footer

⚠️ TODO add example here

How it works

  1. Fetch the page(s) using got
  2. Enhance the DOM using jsdom
  3. Pass the DOM through mozilla/readability to strip unnecessary elements
  4. Apply the HTML template and the print stylesheet to the resulting HTML
  5. Use puppeteer to generate a PDF from the page

Troubleshooting

On some Linux machines you'll need to install a few more Chrome dependencies before percollate works correctly. (Thanks to @ptica for sorting it out)

The percollate pdf command supports the --no-sandbox Puppeteer flag, but make sure you're aware of the implications before disabling the sandbox.

Contributing

Contributions of all kinds are welcome! See CONTRIBUTING.md for details.

See also

Here are some other projects to check out if you're interested in building books using the browser: