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Sergey Kornilov
Sergey Kornilov

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Generate PDF files using NodeJS and PDFMake

In this article we will show you how to generate PDF invoices on the web server side. At Xlinesoft, we use this approach to generate and email billing reminders to our customers.

  1. Download NodeJS to your web server. For Windows choose 64-bit MSI installer.

  2. Run and install keeping all default settings.

  3. Inside your project create a new folder named pdfmake.

  4. Proceed to that folder, start the command line and run:

npm install pdfmake
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  1. This will create index.js, in this file we will add the code that create PDF file. In our case, we will be generating due invoices for our customers.

PDFMake documentation

Here is the index.js file we that generates invoices.

var fonts = {
   Roboto: {
     normal: 'jsnode/fonts/DejaVuSans.ttf',
     bold: 'jsnode/fonts/DejaVuSans-Bold.ttf',
     italics: 'jsnode/fonts/DejaVuSans.ttf',
     bolditalics: 'jsnode/fonts/DejaVuSans.ttf'
   }
}

var PdfPrinter = require('pdfmake');
var printer = new PdfPrinter(fonts);
var fs = require('fs');

// reading parameters from the command line
var params = process.argv;
var data = [];
data["invoicenumber"] = params[2];
data["buyeraddress"] = params[3]
data["item"] = params[4];
data["price"] = params[5];

// json with invoice layout 
var docDefinition = {
    content: [
        {
            fontSize: 11,
            table:{
                widths: ['50%','50%'],
                body:[
                    [{text:'Status: unpaid', border:[false,false,false,true],margin:[-5,0,0,10]},{text:'Invoice# '+data.invoicenumber, alignment:'right', border:[false,false,false,true],margin:[0,0,0,10]}]
                ]
            }
        },
        {
            layout: 'noBorders',
            fontSize: 11,
            table:{
                widths: ['50%','50%'],
                body:[
                    [{text:'Website.com',margin:[0,10,0,0]},{text:'Invoice date: '+data.invoicedata, alignment:'right',margin:[0,10,0,0]}],
                    ['...',''],
                    ['...',''],
                    ['...','']
                ]
            }
        },
        {
            fontSize: 11,
            table:{
                widths: ['50%','50%'],
                body:[
                    [{text:' ', border:[false,false,false,true],margin:[0,0,0,10]},{text:'Payment amount: $'+data.price, alignment:'right', border:[false,false,false,true],margin:[0,0,0,10]}]
                ]
            }
        },
        {
            layout: 'noBorders',
            fontSize: 11,
            table:{
                widths: ['100%'],
                body:[
                    [{text:'User account for payment:',margin:[0,10,0,0]}],
                    [data.buyerinfo],
                    [data.buyeraddress],
                    ['Payment link:'],
                    [{text:'https://website.com/shopcart/invoices_view.php?hash='+data.hash,margin:[0,0,0,10],fontSize:10}]
                ]
            }
        },
        {
            fontSize: 11,
            table:{
                widths: ['5%','56%','13%','13%','13%'],
                body:[
                    [{text:'Pos', border:[false,true,false,true]},{text:'Item', border:[false,true,false,true]},{text:'Price', border:[false,true,false,true]},{text:'Quantity',alignment:'center', border:[false,true,false,true]},{text:'Total', border:[false,true,false,true]}],
                    [{text:'1', border:[false,true,false,true]},{text:data.item, border:[false,true,false,true]},{text:"$"+data.price, border:[false,true,false,true]},{text:'1',alignment:'center', border:[false,true,false,true]},{text:"$"+data.price, border:[false,true,false,true]}]
                ]
            }
        },
        {
            layout: 'noBorders',
            fontSize: 11,
            margin:[0,0,5,0],
            table:{
                widths: ['88%','12%'],
                body:[
                    [{text:'Subtotal:', alignment:'right',margin:[0,5,0,0]},{text:'$'+data.price,margin:[0,5,0,0]}],
                    [{text:'Tax %:', alignment:'right'},'$0.00'],

                ]
            }
        },
        {
            fontSize: 11,
            table:{
                widths: ['88%','12%'],
                body:[
                    [{text:'Total:', alignment:'right', border:[false,false,false,true],margin:[0,0,0,10]},{text:'$'+data.price, border:[false,false,false,true],margin:[0,0,0,10]}]
                ]
            }
        },
        {
            layout: 'noBorders',
            fontSize: 11,
            alignment: 'center',
            table:{
                widths: ['100%'],
                body:[
                    [{text:'Wire transfer info:',margin:[0,10,0,0]}],
                    ['SWIFT: ...'],
                    ['Account number: ...'],
                    ['Company name: ...'],
                    [' '],
                    ['Company address:'],
                    ['...']
                ]
            }
        }
    ]

};
var options = {};

// create invoice and save it to invoices_pdf folder 
var pdfDoc = printer.createPdfKitDocument(docDefinition, options);
pdfDoc.pipe(fs.createWriteStream('invoices_pdf/'+data.invoicenumber+'.pdf'));
pdfDoc.end();
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  1. Now we are ready to create PDF files. In our case we run a cron once a day that is a PHP file that creates and emails invoices. Here is a sample PHP code:
$param1 = "62384";
$param2 = "1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW";
$param3 = "PHPRunner Enterprise Edition";
$param4 = "$999.00";
exec("\"c:/Program Files/nodejs/node.exe\" pdfmake/index.js ".$param1." ".$param2. " ". $param3." ".$param4);
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