the company I work for has a one page invoice that uses the library tcpdf. they wanted to do some design changes that I found are just incredibly difficult for setting up in .pdf format.

Using html/css I could easily create the page and have it print very nicely, but I have a feeling that I am over looking something. What are the pros and cons of setting up a page just for printing? What are the pros and cons of putting out a .pdf?

I could also use the CSS inline so that if they wanted to download it and open it they could.

  • why don't you start making in pdf, at least? May be it'd work out.
    – AgA
    Dec 10, 2012 at 16:07
  • i tried it and I will not be able to design it the way they wanted. it'll work, it just won't be what they wanted.
    – Phil
    Dec 10, 2012 at 16:08

3 Answers 3


Thought about doing it in HTML/CSS then converting it on the FLY to PDF?

Take a look at http://pdfcrowd.com/

It's very easy to convert HTML and PSD to PDF on the FLY.

  • Thank you very much dude for that resource! :) i will probably use their api for future use!
    – Phil
    Dec 12, 2012 at 20:30

I vote yes.

I personally find it useful when sites have printer friendly pages... not only for printing but also clipping content into Evernote.

Another reason that I vote for a printer friendly page is because it is much more secure. Adobe readers are littered with vulnerabilities.


I think it really depends - but if you are not able to accomplish the PDF Design, they wanted, then it somehow defeats the purpose of PDF (which allows you to ensure that the product looks the way you want it on any PC). So under that circumstances, the PDF Version might not bring any advantages.

Nevertheless, PDF has its own pros - and for example if you want to send those invoices via Email as an attachment (easy for the customer to open and archive), than PDF is much nicer. Of course one can download and open HTML Files - it opens with the browser on most PCs.

I guess you just have to talk to your customer to find the right solution.

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