pdfable 10

A Yii extension to create PDFs with PHPWkHtmlToPdf/wkhtmltopdf


Written in PHP by 2 contributors


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PDFable is a Yii extension to create PDFs from web pages with PHPWkHtmlToPdf (included).


PDFable requires the wkhtmltopdf binary to be installed on your system.


Download the package file and unzip it to the extensions directory. Note, that you may want to rename the directory from pdfable-x.y.z to pdfable.

Example module

To try out the extension, you can configure the pdfable example module in your main.php:

            // Optional: Set path to wkthmltopdf binary
            //'bin' => '/usr/bin/wkhtmltopdf',

The module should then be available from http://localhost/index.php?r=pdfable/demo or whatever you use as hostname. I recommend to have a look at this example module's code.

Basic configuration

PDFable comes as a controller behavior which gets attached through behaviors:

class MyController extends Controller
    public function behaviors()
        return array(
                'class' => 'ext.pdfable.Pdfable',

Basic use

To render single page PDFs from a view file you just call renderPdf() instead of render(). This will convert the view file to a PDF and display it inline in the browser:

    public function actionPdfDemo()
        // Render this view as PDF and display inline in the browser:

Just as with render() you can of course also render more complex views with custom data. And if you want to open a download dialog, you can also pass the download filename as 4th argument:

    public function actionInvoice($id)

            'invoice' => $invoice,
        ), array(), 'invoice_'.$invoice->id.'.pdf');

The third parameter allows you to pass additional PDF page options to wkhtmltopdf. See advanced configuration below.

Advanced use

Multi-Page PDFs

PDFs with more than one page (=view) are also possible. Here you would use the createPdf() method. It returns a PdfFile object.

    public function actionPortfolio($id)
        $portfolio = Portfolio::model()->findByPk($id);

        $pdf = $this->createPdf();
            'portfolio' => $portfolio,

Use from console commands

You can also create PDFs from console commands through the low-level PdfFile class. The following example is taken from the example module:

    public function actionIndex($filename)
        $pdf = new PdfFile;

        // We have to set some paths ...
        $pdf->baseViewPath  = Yii::getPathOfAlias('ext.pdfable.pdfable.views');
        $pdf->layoutPath    = Yii::getPathOfAlias('ext.pdfable.pdfable.views.layouts');
        $pdf->viewPath      = Yii::getPathOfAlias('ext.pdfable.pdfable.views.demo');

        // ... and supply our custom CSS file
            'user-style-sheet'  => Yii::getPathOfAlias('ext.pdfable.pdfable.assets.css.pdf').'.css',



If you want to try the example command you can add it to the commandMap in your console.php:

    'commandMap' => array(
        'demopdf' => array(
            'class' => 'ext.pdfable.pdfable.commands.DemopdfCommand',

You then can create an example PDF with ./yiic demopdf --filename=/tmp/demo.pdf.

Advanced configuration

It's recommended to have a look at the PHPWkHtmlToPdf documentation. All the options described there are also available with PDFable.

Default page options

You can set default PDF options for the document and each page in the behaviors() method:

   public function behaviors()
       return array(
           'pdfable' => array(
               'class' => 'ext.pdfable.Pdfable',

               // Global PDF options (see wkhtmltopdf -H for details)
               'pdfOptions' => array(
                   'bin'   => '/usr/bin/wkhtmltopdf',  // path to executable (default)
                   'dpi'   => 600,

               // Default PDF page options (see wkhtmltopdf -H for details)
               'pdfPageOptions' => array(
                   'page-size'         => 'A5',

                   // You probably always need this, because CSS files from <link>
                   // tags in your document are ignored
                   'user-style-sheet'  => Yii::getPathOfAlias('webroot').'/css/pdf.css',

               // Use other tmp directory instead of application.runtime
               'tmpAlias' => 'application.var.tmp',

Override hardcoded page defaults

The behavior uses some hardcoded defaults for document and page options (see PdfFile). Your configuration above will always be merged with these defaults. If you don't like this and want complete freedom instead, then configure the behavior like this:

   public function behaviors()
       return array(
           'pdfable' => array(
               'class' => 'ext.pdfable.Pdfable',

               'defaultPdfOptions' => array(
                   // default PDF options here
                   // could also be an empty array to disable all defaults

               'defaultPdfPageOptions' => array(
                   // default PDF page options here
                   // could also be an empty array to disable all defaults

Custom page options

You can supply custom wkhtmltopdf page options along as third parameter to renderPdf(). The format is the same as for addPage() in PHPWkHtmlToPdf.

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