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HTML to PDF Conversion Plug-In (Help me think this through)

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HTML to PDF Conversion Plug-In (Help me think this through)

Postby TMcD » Thu Feb 15, 2007 3:20 pm

Hi All,

I'm going to have a plug-in created for me, but I don't know everything there is to know about PDFs and also Delphi.

1. I'd like to have HTML pages converted into a PDF (e-book). I need the URLs within the HTML pages to stay intact. (When people click on a link in the PDF link the browser opens (or opens in an already open window) and goes the the URL embedded in the PDF.)

Why HTML to PDF (Instead of a RTF or Word Document to PDF)?

It will be easier to edit (on the fly) a HTML page (before sending it to be converted) than it would to edit a RTF or a Word Document.

2. The source of the HTML will be on the local hard drive.

3. What should I use to have the programmer create the plug-in?

-- A VCL (I think this is what it's call, Delphi stuff)?
-- A DLL?
-- Command Line?
-- Win32?
-- ActiveX?

I want to try to stay away fron .NET stuff, stuff that relies on .NET

Here are some some solutions I have found that I'd probably have to buy for the programmer to use to create my plug-in:

Command Line:
http://www.verypdf.com/htmltools/index.html

Win32/.NET:
http://www.subsystems.com/hpw.htm

VCL:
http://www.wpcubed.com/products/wpdf/index.htm

So, in a nut shell....

If anyone knows what would offer the best flexibility (Vista is coming around the corner) for a programmer to use as he/she creates my plug-in, please let me know.

If you know of a good, DLL, VCL, etc. that will do what I am looking for, please PM me or respond here.

There are lots of DLLs, etc. that will create a PDF from scratch, but a converter tool (connected to a NeoBook plug-in) is what I am looking for.

Thanks,
Troy
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Postby edunaway » Thu Feb 15, 2007 8:21 pm

Troy,

You can probably accomplish this by using some free utilities and a combination of web based scripts or command line tools depending on what your ultimate goal is. For example, are you trying to create a way for people to archive web pages?

Here is a free PHP script I found that can convert a url to PDF:

http://www.easysw.com/htmldoc/pdf-o-matic.php

If you search with Google you may find more utilities. Try searching for "open source html to pdf"
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Postby TMcD » Thu Feb 15, 2007 10:40 pm

Thanks...

Yeah, I've seen a lot of web based stuff (PHP).. My software needs to be a desktop application. (At least for now.) :)

Troy
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Postby Wrangler » Fri Feb 16, 2007 9:34 am

Google html to pdf, or html2pdf. I seem to recall there are free dos command line utilities that will do this.
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Postby TMcD » Fri Feb 16, 2007 9:47 am

I'll look into that.. so far, seems to be the same one popping up all over.

HTML2PDF Add-on

I guess the only concern I have with command-line is, will this be supported with Vista? (So my application will still work down the road.) :)

Thanks,
Troy
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Postby Wrangler » Fri Feb 16, 2007 9:54 am

I haven't heard anything about command line utilities not working with Vista, since Vista is still just a shell for dos, as are all Windows versions. And dos hasn't changed much since the early days. Can't see the logic in MS breaking that part of their system. But, I haven't tried Vista. I could be wrong.

Added later: And if Vista DOES have problems with them, I'm in big doodoo, since some of my programs use them.
Wrangler
--------------
"You never know about a woman. Whether she'll laugh, cry or go for a gun." - Louis L'Amour

Windows 7 Ultimate SP1 64bit
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Software made with NeoBook
http://highdesertsoftware.com
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Postby TMcD » Fri Feb 16, 2007 10:03 am

Just trying to cover my bases. :)

This is a pretty interesting quest... I'm finding lots of things that will write PDF files (from scratch), stand alone applications (not what I need). Various Java code, etc. etc.

The quest goes on.

Never think that something should be so easy. :)

HTML -> PDF (That's not hard... eheh)

Troy
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Postby dpayer » Fri Feb 16, 2007 11:15 am

TMcD wrote:Just trying to cover my bases. :)

This is a pretty interesting quest... I'm finding lots of things that will write PDF files (from scratch), stand alone applications (not what I need). Various Java code, etc. etc.

The quest goes on.

Never think that something should be so easy. :)

HTML -> PDF (That's not hard... eheh)

Troy


The veryPDF product has a steep developer price (if you intended to distribute this application)

Developer License $2495.00

That is paying $2495.00 for a plugin. You better have a good business plan.

If you just need a printer driver, take a look at pdf995.com. For $9.95 you can have it run on your computer as a print driver.

D
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Postby TMcD » Fri Feb 16, 2007 11:24 am

dpayer wrote:
TMcD wrote:Just trying to cover my bases. :)

This is a pretty interesting quest... I'm finding lots of things that will write PDF files (from scratch), stand alone applications (not what I need). Various Java code, etc. etc.

The quest goes on.

Never think that something should be so easy. :)

HTML -> PDF (That's not hard... eheh)

Troy


The veryPDF product has a steep developer price (if you intended to distribute this application)

Developer License $2495.00

That is paying $2495.00 for a plugin. You better have a good business plan.

If you just need a printer driver, take a look at pdf995.com. For $9.95 you can have it run on your computer as a print driver.

D


Yeah, VeryPDF is expensive. I spoke with a guy this morning. (Even a non-server based use is expensive.)

My final NeoBook program needs to be able to output the (converted HTML) to a PDF by itself, thus no pdf995.com (which is good).

Thanks,
Troy
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Postby dpayer » Fri Feb 16, 2007 11:47 am

Another idea is to convert the html to a graphic and then to PDF if that would satisfy you. Alberto Meyer has a plugin for that (if he will ever turn his site back on and do business with us!).

Here is a place that claims to do html to PDF conversion but I have not used this app of theirs (others, I have and they work as stated).

Their standard distribution license is about $99.

http://www.processtext.com/abctext.html

D
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Postby TMcD » Fri Feb 16, 2007 6:02 pm

dpayer wrote:Another idea is to convert the html to a graphic and then to PDF if that would satisfy you. Alberto Meyer has a plugin for that (if he will ever turn his site back on and do business with us!).

Here is a place that claims to do html to PDF conversion but I have not used this app of theirs (others, I have and they work as stated).

Their standard distribution license is about $99.

http://www.processtext.com/abctext.html

D


I checked them out, looks like it could do the job (would need to test).

I don't see an option for dsitrbuting this w/my software. I only see:

SINGLE
License for one user.
Price: US $19.95

GROUP
License for 2 or 3 users.
Price: US $29.95

SITE
License for unlimited number of users under the same company.
Price: US $59.95

I've written them an e-mail.

Thanks,
Troy
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Update

Postby TMcD » Sat Feb 24, 2007 11:43 am

Iv'e been in contact with: http://www.processtext.com/abctext.html

It worked on a very basic page, but I tried push it to see how much it could process/what it could process (what type of HTML page). It broke on the first try. (Seems to only work with a basic HTML page.)

I told them about it, gave them the URL of the page and all, no response.. They were initially hyper responsive to my questions.

So, I'm back to the drawing board.

Troy
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