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LuaHPDF is a module that lets you programmatically create PDF files using Lua.
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LuaHPDF is a module that lets you programmatically create PDF files using Lua. It does this by binding to the Haru Free PDF Library, an open-source library that manages the details of PDF generation.

With this module, you can write Lua programs that will produce PDF files that include

  • lines, text and graphics
  • PNG and JPEG images
  • compression
  • encryption
  • Type1 and TrueType fonts
  • various character sets
  • outlines
  • links

This module works on POSIX and Windows platforms.


LuaHPDF conforms to the Lua 5.2 module standard. It provides a thin binding to the libharu library for PDF generation. The differences to the Haru application programming interface are minor, so you should be able to write Lua scripts using the documentation that is provided with the Haru library.

Building and installing LuaHPDF

The Haru library and Lua must be properly installed on your system to build LuaHPDF. Each can be compiled easily from source code. Alternatively, each is available in binary form for a wide variety of platforms. See their respective websites for more details.

Notes on building LuaHPDF guide you through compiling and installing the module on your system. Check out some of the features of the Haru library by generating demonstration PDFs.

Creating PDF files

The steps in creating a basic PDF file with LuaHPDF include

  • loading the module with the 'require' function
  • creating a document
  • adding one or more pages
  • obtaining a font and registering it with a page
  • writing text
  • saving the file
  • freeing the document

Here is a short example.

require "hpdf"

local pdf = hpdf.New()
if pdf then
  local page = hpdf.AddPage(pdf)
  local height = hpdf.Page_GetHeight(page)
  local width = hpdf.Page_GetWidth(page)
  local font = hpdf.GetFont(pdf, "Helvetica")
  hpdf.Page_SetFontAndSize(page, font, 24)
  hpdf.Page_TextOut(page, 60, height - 60, "Hello from Haru")
  hpdf.SaveToFile(pdf, "hello.pdf")
  io.write("Error creating PDF object\n")

Other demonstration scripts are provided in the download package.

Reporting issues

You're encouraged to provide suggestions and bug reports about LuaHPDF in this software's issue tracker.


LuaHPDF depends on other software. In particular, I am grateful to

  • The authors of Lua, Roberto Ierusalimschy, Luiz Henrique de Figueiredo, Waldemar Celes.

  • The orignal author of the Haru Free PDF Library, Takeshi Kanno.

  • Andrea D'Amore who provided tips for compiling on OS X and packaging.

  • Clerk Ma who provided instructions and makefiles for building with Visual Studio.


Like Lua, this software is released under the MIT license.

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