Creating PDF Templates (article2pdf)

Recently I installed the wordpress plugin article2pdf (Marc Schieferdecker) which converts a post or page into a PDF document, you can see it in action at russellsashtanga.info. Further information can be found at the author home page and plugin home page although you may not need to visit these sites. You can download article2pdf from the wordpress plugins website or install from within a wordpress 2.7 installation. A note of caution, depending on your perma link structure you may want to read the installation notes.

So why would you want to create a PDF template? and how do you create a PDF template without spending any money? You may want extra information about the article or add some branding to it. I decided I wanted to include my name, web address and copyright on all the PDFs people create.

I thought I needed a special software package because when the PDF format first came out you had to pay for software to create PDF files, although I knew Open Office was able to create them, it didn’t seem to have a special PDF template option. After hunting around websites looking for ways to create these template files, I decided to create a normal PDF file and see if that would work, and it did!

So, the easy way to create a PDF template is using Open Office. Create a single page document, and set the headers and footers to what you want. Once this is done save it firstly as a document you can edit, and then save it as a PDF document. Then use the plugin to upload the file, and not forgetting to select the PDF you just loaded as your default template.

It realy is that simple, just any PDF document will act as a template for article2pdf. There is probably a standard PDF template format, and you may well have to use PDF templates in other applications. Of course the final disclaimer is that this may well depend upon the versions of software you are using, and changes in both the PDF format and article2pdf over time.

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