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Issue 16.2 ('StockScripter')
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Making PDFs

Using a web service to convert files

Issue: 16.2 (March/April 2018)
Author: Marc Zeedar
Author Bio: Marc taught himself programming in high school when he bought his first computer but had no money for software. He's had fun learning ever since.
Article Description: No description available.
Article Length (in bytes): 32,050
Starting Page Number: 19
Article Number: 16204
Resource File(s):

Download Icon project 16204.zip Updated: 2018-02-28 18:43:25

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Excerpt of article text...

If you aren't regularly reading the Xojo Blog (https://blog.xojo.com/), you need to start. There are some terrific posts there about what's going on with Xojo, tips and tricks, and neat things you can do with Xojo.

Like in early February, Javier Menendez had an awesome article (https://blog.xojo.com/2018/02/06/pdf-file-generation-there-is-an-api-for-that/) on how to create PDFs using the open source DocVerter web service (https://docverter.com/).

The free service is powerful and can convert to and from many formats (such as various ebook and word processing files). You access it via an HTTP API, which means you can build it into your Xojo software and, as long as your user has internet access, you could convert documents.

As someone who has been working on my own PDF conversion software for the past few years, I was keen to check out DocVerter. My system uses the command line tool wkhtmltopdf, which I wrote about in xDev 11.1 (http://www.xdevmag.com/browse/11.1/11107/). While I've gotten it working pretty well, there are limitations and bugs, so I'm always open to new solutions.

First Impressions

It's early days and I'm not sure DocVerter is my ultimate solution, but it is interesting, and it works surprisingly well. I had been concerned that using a web service would be slow, but in my tests it's very fast—maybe even faster than wkhtmltopdf, which runs locally.

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