A wrapper for the wkhtmltopdf HTML to PDF converter using WebKit


A Node.js wrapper for the wkhtmltopdf command line tool. As the name implies, it converts HTML documents to PDFs using WebKit.

var wkhtmltopdf = require('wkhtmltopdf');
// URL 
wkhtmltopdf('http://google.com/', { pageSize: 'letter' })
// HTML 
wkhtmltopdf('<h1>Test</h1><p>Hello world</p>')
// output to a file directly 
wkhtmltopdf('http://apple.com/', { output: 'out.pdf' });
// Optional callback 
wkhtmltopdf('http://google.com/', { pageSize: 'letter' }, function (codesignal) {
wkhtmltopdf('http://google.com/', function (codesignal) {

wkhtmltopdf is just a function, which you call with either a URL or an inline HTML string, and it returns a stream that you can read from or pipe to wherever you like (e.g. a file, or an HTTP response).

There are many options available to wkhtmltopdf. All of the command line options are supported as documented on the page linked to above. The options are camelCased instead-of-dashed as in the command line tool.

There is also an output option that can be used to write the output directly to a filename, instead of returning a stream.

First, you need to install the wkhtmltopdf command line tool on your system. The easiest way to do this is to download a prebuilt version for your system. There are various platform specific issues to worry about. I've found that the 0.11 version of wkhtmltopdf produces PDFs without selectable text or clickable links on OS X, and some versions require an X server and others do not.

From my experimentation, the best versions are as follows:

  • On OS X, I use version 0.10.
  • On Ubuntu, I use version 0.9.9 32 or 64 bit from that page. Don't try to use the version installed via apt-get because it is missing features and requires and X server. Follow this guide to make sure you have all the necessary dependencies.

Although those versions are somewhat old, they have worked the best for me.

Finally, to install the node module, use npm:

npm install wkhtmltopdf

Be sure wkhtmltopdf is in your PATH when you're done installing. If you don't want to do this for some reason, you can change the wkhtmltopdf.command property to the path to the wkhtmltopdf command line tool.