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README.md

Pechkin

.NET Wrapper for WkHtmlToPdf DLL, library that uses Webkit engine to convert HTML pages to PDF.

Repository archived

After releasing this library I quickly realized that supporting it for others would be more about understanding the quirks of wkhtmltopdf itself than adding features and fixes on top of it. Wkhtmltopdf is a huge project that's written in a non-managed language, so I've never had the time or motivation to do that, thus this repository stayed unsupported.

At the time of archiving this repo there are many other HTML to PDF libraries that could suite your needs:

  • For .NET Core, and later .NET 5 there's a Wkhtmltopdf.NetCore library.
  • If you're having trouble with Pechkin, you might have better luck with TuesPechkin which is a rewrite of this library, DinkToPdf or WkHtmlToXSharp.
  • An alternative approach would be to use PuppeteerSharp or Selenium to use the Chrome browser itself to produce the PDF output. This approach, along with the list of many other libraries can be found in the StackOverflow question

FAQ

Q: Why produced PDF lacks background images and colors?

A: By default, all backgrounds will be ommited from the document.

You can override this setting by calling SetPrintBackground(true) on the ObjectConfig supplied with the HTML document to the Convert() method of the converter.

Q: Do I need to run wkhtmltox installer on the machine for the library to work?

A: No, latest version of wkhtmltox DLL is included in the project (and in NuGet package) along with its dependencies, and copied into build folder on project build.

So there's no need to install any prerequisites before using the library on the computer.

Q: How to build library from the code?

A: To build the library from the code, you'll need Visual Studio 2010 with NuGet package manager installed. Then, after checking out the code and opening it in VS you should restore NuGet packages: right click on the solution, select Manage NuGet Packages... and in the opened window you should see notification that some packages are missing with the button that restores them.

Alternatively you can run nuget install packages.config

for every project in the solution. (Two test projects with xunit, others supporting Common.Logging.)

And then you should be able to build everything with Build > Build Solution menu item.

Q: Why my Web App hangs on the "easy to use" code example below?

A: In Web applications new thread is typically created for each request processed. SimplePechkin is designed to work only within one thread, even if you create another object for every thread, so you should use SynchronizedPechkin instead. Just install another NuGet package and change every occurence of SimplePechkin to SynchronizedPechkin, that's it.

I will implement detection of multiple thread use of SimplePechkin in the future and there will be exception thrown in that case.

Q: Why my Web App hangs/crashes even after I've started using SynchronizedPechkin

A: It's because of how deploying to the IIS works: on redeploy server process doesn't stop and the native wkhtmltopdf dll stays in the memory, but everything managed is destroyed, including the only thread that this DLL can be used by.

Possible workaround is to set the property Copy To Output Directory for all .dll files in Pechkin (NuGet package adds them to the root of your project) to Copy If Newer. Otherwise it's an unresolved issue.

NuGet

Pechkin is available in NuGet repo: in most cases you should use SynchronizedPechkin as it protects multithreaded code from crashing the lib. But for simple usage from one thread, you can use SimplePechkin directly.

Usage

Pechkin is both easy to use

byte[] pdfBuf = new SimplePechkin(new GlobalConfig()).Convert("<html><body><h1>Hello world!</h1></body></html>");

and functional

// create global configuration object
GlobalConfig gc = new GlobalConfig();

// set it up using fluent notation
gc.SetMargins(new Margins(300, 100, 150, 100))
  .SetDocumentTitle("Test document")
  .SetPaperSize(PaperKind.Letter);
//... etc

// create converter
IPechkin pechkin = new SynchronizedPechkin(gc);

// subscribe to events
pechkin.Begin += OnBegin;
pechkin.Error += OnError;
pechkin.Warning += OnWarning;
pechkin.PhaseChanged += OnPhase;
pechkin.ProgressChanged += OnProgress;
pechkin.Finished += OnFinished;

// create document configuration object
ObjectConfig oc = new ObjectConfig();

// and set it up using fluent notation too
oc.SetCreateExternalLinks(false)
  .SetFallbackEncoding(Encoding.ASCII)
  .SetLoadImages(false)
  .SetPageUri("http://google.com");
//... etc

// convert document
byte[] pdfBuf = pechkin.Convert(oc);

License

Copyright 2012 by Slava Kolobaev. This work is made available under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 license, http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/

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.NET Wrapper for WkHtmlToPdf static DLL. Allows you to utilize full power of the library.

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