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How to Convert HTML Tables to PDF: Everything You Need to Know

September 18, 2021
Author
Inkit Team

If you deal with document rendering, you probably know how tricky table conversion is. It may be difficult to keep tables when converting HTML tables to Excel online, generating PDF from HTML, or rendering other formats. They either look distorted or don't display at all because of errors.

Out of the available formats, HTML to PDF conversion is the most common. Web applications that show information in tables, charts, and graphs often allow exporting data in PDF. While users need to click a button to convert a table to HTML code and PDF, software providers do dirty work. They have to configure smooth HTML table conversion at the backend.

If you also wonder ‘How do I convert an HTML table to PDF,’ this guide is for you. Discover the top ways to implement HTML web pages to PDF conversion for generating reports with tables.

Why HTML to PDF Conversion Rather than Other Formats

Even though you may need to convert an HTML table to Excel online or create a CSV, PDF is the most popular. It allows creating downloadable reports with tables users can view on their mobile devices or share. PDF documents look professional and are very flexible. You can enable users to edit and sign them or fully close the generated PDF from editing. It contributes to the security of PDF documents with tables that include confidential information.

Most importantly, the PDF format is an industry standard for web services. Majority of web solutions that enable users to download reports support it. Hence, if you want to generate neat tables in web applications, PDF is a must-have.

Why PDF is the Best Format for Digital Document Management in 2021

HTML to PDF Conversion

Problems When You Convert Table to HTML Code and PDF

Many online tools convert HTML to PDF without extra formatting. As a result, they render the content of the original file but fail to keep the form. During HTML to PDF conversion of tables it leads to a total mess. When rendering software doesn’t display columns right, the table that was meant to structure the information becomes useless.

Page breaks and margins are other factors that affect the look of tables after conversion. If you don’t configure page breaks before rendering, the data may not stay on the same page after conversion. Again, the table will be distorted and hamper the understanding of the information. Page headers and footers are important for the same reason. They structure the look of the final PDF and help to locate tables.

Typical HTML into PDF Conversion Problems and How to Avoid Them

Therefore, you should pick rendering software very carefully. A quality tool with rich functionality will help you prevent rendering problems with tables. For example, solutions like Inkit Render allow customizing page breaks, headers and footers, size, and other elements critical for quality web browser HTML to PDF rendering.

Learn more about the available standard solutions for HTML to PDF conversion of tables below.

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How Do I Change an HTML File to PDF with Tables: Top Options

There are multiple approaches to run the conversion. You can manually convert table to HTML code and PDF with JavaScript, use online tools for conversion, or integrate an API. Each of these options is suitable for different use cases.

Online Tools for Basic Conversions

If you have a ready HTML file with tables and want to convert HTML to PDF, basic converters are enough. You won’t clean HTML source code, remove HTML tags, customize file parameters, or do other settings. Online converters enable you to upload the original file, click the Convert button, and retrieve the generated PDF. Some of them also support HTML editors and text editors, allowing changes in the created files.

Unfortunately, since basic converters have limited functionality, they often generate PDF files with mistakes. If the table is incorrect, you won’t be able to fix anything.

How do I convert an HTML file to PDF with tools for basic conversions?

There are tons of online tools to convert HTML tables to Excel online, generate a PDF or CSV. Just pick the desired HTML file, download it, convert, and retrieve it.

Here’s how to do it in Adobe Acrobat, for example:

  1. Open an HTML web page in Google Chrome, Firefox, or Internet Explorer on Windows or in Firefox on Mac.
  2. Select the “Convert to PDF” button in the Adobe PDF toolbar to initiate the conversion.
  3. Name the generated file and store it in the necessary location.

Custom Software to Automatically Convert Table to HTML Code and PDF

Custom software development is one of the ways to get automated rendering functionality. Healthcare organizations that enable patients to generate PDF reports, finances with online banking, and other large organizations need automated document conversion. Basic online tools won’t be enough to process hundreds of HTML with tables.

If you choose this option, you will need to assemble a team of software developers. The tech stack used to automatically convert tables to HTML code and PDF varies. HTML, CSS, and JavaScript are essentials. There are also open-source libraries for PDF conversion, such as jsPDF or pdfmake to simplify the software development.

tables converison

The custom approach lets you create tailored rendering features for your software, yet it’s too time-consuming. To automate HTML to PDF generation, you will need to find developers with the relevant experience and study hundreds of PDF specification pages. Therefore, API integration is much easier for rendering automation.

How do I convert an HTML file to PDF with custom software?

With this approach, you will need to develop custom rendering functionality in your existing products.

APIs for Quick Integration of Comprehensive Rendering Capabilities

If you want to convert HTML tables automatically but avoid lengthy software development, choose API integration. An API is a programming interface that adds the functionality of one solution to another. This way, if you have a web platform or application, you can layer rendering functionality to it.

APIs offer the same capabilities as custom software solutions. Their key advantage is that you don’t need to invest time and money in development. You pay the third party for the access and get the software ready for use. Since API providers focus on the quality and simplicity of conversion, HTML tables look great. You can configure page breaks, headers, footers, table tags, and other parameters to get the exact copy of source tables in PDF.

How do I convert an HTML file to PDF with PDF rendering API?

To convert HTML files to PDFs, you will need to integrate an API with your software. Sign up for the tool > Get your API key > Choose the necessary programming language in the menu> Paste the generated code snippet into your environment > Run the snippet to generate a PDF. If the original HTML has tables, the API will also convert them.

Inkit Render for Automated HTML to PDF Conversion

Render is an HTML to PDF rendering API provided by Inkit. After integration, it automatically converts HTML to PDF based on triggers. Render smoothly processes source files with tables, logos, and high-resolution images. It also allows customizing headers and footers, page numbers, margins, breaks, or other document parameters. You can render any HTML document regardless of its complexity and content.

Check out Render documentation to see how it works or get the demo.

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