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Selecting a Powerful Create PDF API: Key Criteria to Conside

December 28, 2021

A premium or free HTML to PDF converter API is something many product teams need. It considerably optimizes the software development process. Instead of manual development of HTML to PDF conversion functionality, you can integrate a Create PDF API. Such a solution saves time and cuts expenses. It is applicable in financial portals, healthcare web apps, insurance websites, and any solution that generates PDFs.

Yet, to make sure the PDF generator API works as expected, you need to choose it carefully. It will be a part of your product affecting how it operates. If you make the wrong choice, the free PDF generator API will limit your capabilities and affect the end-user experience.

This article can help you pick the best Create PDF API. Learn why premium solutions might be better than free PDF generator APIs and what features to look for.

Premium vs. Free HTML to PDF Converter API

If you choose a document rendering API, you probably waver between paid and free options. Even though free HTML to PDF converter APIs will save your budget, their capabilities are insufficient for large-scale use. Such solutions are good to occasionally render several pages or test how automated document generation works. Once you reach a higher document processing volume, you need something advanced.

Paid Create PDF APIs allow product teams to convert more URL HTML files to PDFs. It gives them more flexibility and growth potential. Besides, premium solutions offer better support than free HTML to PDF converter APIs. You can contact the vendor to get help with installation, configuration, or troubleshooting.

That’s why even if you start with a free PDF generator API, we recommend choosing a solution that also supports paid plans. It will enable you to switch to a more advanced subscription once you need it.

XHTML to PDF: Everything You Need to Know

What are Standard Document Generation API Features

The functionality of paid and free HTML to PDF converter APIs varies by solution. Hence, when choosing an API for your product, research multiple options. Here we have collected the document rendering features you are likely to need.

Document Rendering Functionality

Document rendering is a basic feature. If you seek PDF automation, chances are you need to convert HTML to PDF. Raw HTML code to PDF rendering is at the core of all web products that generate custom PDFs. To create a PDF document, the API needs to put data together in HTML first.

Document Generation API

Single Document and Batch Processing

Premium and free PDF generator APIs should process one and multiple documents with equal ease. This way, you can create a single document per user’s request or render multiple PDFs for large-scale delivery.

Customizable Formatting

To deliver multiple types of documents, you need a Create PDF API that supports customization. Make sure you can change headers and footers, layout, page size, breaks, and other parameters. Customization is essential to tailor the delivered PDFs to every recipient.

Managed User Access

User roles are crucial for data security. This feature allows you to choose who can assess document rendering functionality and generated PDFs. You can create multiple teams with different levels of access. Why does it matter? Applications with automated document rendering usually handle lots of personal data. Such docs as invoices, bills, or health reports are highly confidential. Hence, you need to take care of information security.

Template Editor with Document Templates

If the API supports document customization, a template editor is not mandatory. Still, some solutions allow editing PDF templates manually. You can change formatting, layout, fonts, and other characteristics.

Third-Party Storage Integrations

Apart from document rendering, APIs automate record-keeping and document management. Since you will need to keep the copies of created documents, the chosen API must integrate with third-party storage.

Single Sign-On

Single sign-on (SSO) enables you to log in with single credentials to any of the connected software systems. You don’t have to switch between accounts. It enhances user experience and security.

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What to Do Selecting a Create PDF API

Now when you know what features to look for, here are some other things to consider. They also impact the quality of the PDF rendering you integrate.

#1. Check Compatibility With Different Programming Languages

Before purchasing an API subscription, make sure the selected software is compatible with your technology stack. It may turn out that it just doesn’t support the necessary programming languages. Then, you will lose money and need to look for another document rendering solution. Inkit’s Render integrates with the software written in Node.js, Ruby, PHP, Java, JavaScript, Python, C#, C++, and other programming languages listed here.

#2. Mind Conversion Formats

Even though HTML to PDF file conversion of web pages is most common, some APIs support other formats. Hence, if you are looking for an unusual combination of formats, an HTML to PDF converter may be unsuitable.

#3. Automate As Much As Possible

The API should eliminate all the manual tasks related to document generation and management. Therefore, when you analyze the market offer, double-check automation capabilities. Pick the solution that automatically creates a PDF, formats it, displays the document to the end-user, and stores the copy. If you combine document rendering with automated printing and delivery, you will also automatically send offline communications.

#4. Ask About Security

Most probably, the data you use in official documents is confidential. Therefore, you need to ensure decent security. The easiest way to understand data protection measures is by asking the vendor. They can explain to you how they secure data and fight off cyberattacks. User roles and data encryption are some must-haves.

 Regulatory Compliance

#5. Ensure Regulatory Compliance

Organizations that handle many documents are strictly regulated. Are you one of them? Then you may need to comply with GDPR, HIPAA, SOX Act, and many other industry-specific regulations. These regulations have something in common. They all require data security and transparent document management. If you choose the right HTML to PDF API, regulatory compliance should be easier.

Besides, you can request information about compliance from the API vendor. Most providers meet the requirements of the core regulations. Hence, you won’t have to worry about regulations when you integrate them.

Learn What 7 Regulations API Document Automation Helps to Meet

#6. Choose the Create PDF API With Tech Support

When the API provider offers tech support, it’s a huge benefit. You get someone to ask for help at any moment. If you have trouble with integration or maintenance, the API vendor will come to the rescue. The best option is when you have several support channels, like the ticketing system and phone support, for example.

Inkit Render to Generate PDF Documents

Integrate Render REST API with your existing software to automate HTML to PDF conversion. It supports document customization and connects with solutions written in all the core programming languages. After the API key integration, your web app will automatically create personalized PDFs and store their copies in the cloud. Since Render offers user roles and encrypts data, such document rendering is highly secure.


Check out Render’s functionality here and start a free trial to test how it works.

Out-of-the-box PDF generation
The easiest way to automatically generate and manage paperless documents at scale.
By submitting this form, I confirm that I have read and understood Inkit's Privacy Policy.
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.