Launch HN: Onedoc (YC W24) – A better way to create PDFs

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  • WeasyPrint

    The awesome document factory

  • Is there a reason you didn't consider something like Weasyprint?

    I've gone through a number of systems to convert CV's, business cards, and other docs and it hasn't let me down yet.

  • react-print-pdf

    Build and generate PDF using React 📄 UI kit for PDFs and print documents. Simple, reusable components and templates to create great invoices, docs, brochures. Use your favorite front-end framework React to build your next PDF.

  • Hey HN, we’re the co-founders of Onedoc (, and the original contributors to the open-source library react-print-pdf ( which lets developers design and generate PDF documents automatically. Here’s a demo video:

    Billions of PDFs are generated daily: invoices, contracts, receipts, reports, you name it. Developer time gets wasted producing these basic documents because there are no good-enough tools to design and generate PDFs.

    We previously worked at giant firms, where documents (especially PDFs) were central to most workflows. We got asked to generate automated trade confirmations for our customer’s counterparties. We could not find any tool other than outdated libraries offering poor control over layout and the generation process. In the end, we just created our own—basically bringing web technologies to PDFs. That was the genesis of Onedoc.

    PDF creation has two phases: design (specifying content and layout) and generation (producing the actual PDF file). Onedoc lets you do both simply and automatically.

    Design: we have an open-source library called "react-print-pdf" ( that allows you to design a document the same way you would design a website. It supports Tailwind CSS components, Chakra UI components, and recently also built LaTeX and Markdown components. The latter let you write text in Markdown style, and include formulas using LaTeX syntax, directly within a React component.

    Generation: we have an API ( and Node.js SDK ( that render your designs into PDFs.

    The choice of renderer significantly affects the accuracy of the resulting PDF. For example, exporting a webpage into PDF will often result in a layout that differs from the original webpage. We ensure that what you designed is what you get, and therefore you have 100% control over the entire layout of your document including margin, style, etc. We can do that because we built the react-print-pdf library to match the HTML/CSS to PDF rendering tool we have.

    Once you have generated your document, you can either store it on your local system or, if you want, use our platform ( to host your document online. If you use us, you’ll also get analytics over your documents.

    Our main product is an API, but you can try it on our website directly ( using our playground without any installation or sign-up. Our pricing is usage-based: per document generated. The pricing is degressive: the more documents you generate, the less you pay per document. If you don’t want to pay for PDF generation, you can still generate as many documents as you want, but with a watermark on the margin.

    It’s been fun to see what our users are building with our open-source library (components, templates, etc.) and our API. We have a website ( dedicated to the open-source library where we post the templates submitted by the community. Some early power users built simple web apps (CV/Resume generator, NDA and Invoice generator). We are excited to show our product to the HN community and look forward to your feedback!

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  • energy-label-service

    Energy Label Generation Service

  • Really interesting product. I do agree that the pricing seems steep ($0.25/document on Pro on the most generous tier) but I don't know enough about pricing B2B products to know if that would be a blocker.

    I agree that HTML -> PDF can be a really powerful tool. I worked on the UK government's tool to generate energy efficiency labels for consumer goods [0] and we ended up doing PDF generation with SVG templates, using Open HTML to PDF for the conversion. That ended up working very well, though as you allude to there can be some gotchas (eg unsupported CSS features) that you need to work around.

    A few questions:

    - Do the rendered documents support PDF's various accessibility features?

    - How suitable is this for print PDF generation? For example, what version of the PDF spec do you target? What's your colour profile support like? Do you support the different PDF page boxes (MediaBox, CropBox, BleedBox, TrimBox, ArtBox)?


  • Open HTML to PDF

    An HTML to PDF library for the JVM. Based on Flying Saucer and Apache PDF-BOX 2. With SVG image support. Now also with accessible PDF support (WCAG, Section 508, PDF/UA)!

  • gofpdf

  • I'm with you..

    We ended up writing a similar wrapper around library. We haven't open sourced it yet. But it's made it a lot easier to deal with rendering a PDF, especially over pagebreaks ect.

  • doconce

    Lightweight markup language - Document Once

  • Funny name! The reason I find it funny is I know some people who made Doconce: :D

  • gotenberg

    A developer-friendly API for converting numerous document formats into PDF files, and more!

  • We're using Gotenberg[1] to convert a rendered web page (with Elixir/Phoenix, in our case) to PDF. Works like a charm and we can use our existing frontend code/styling (including SVG graph generators) which is a huge bonus.


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  • pdf-lib

    Create and modify PDF documents in any JavaScript environment

  • I'm facing that same pain point of programmatic PDF filling. I noodled around in the PDF format and learned it's a bit difficult to deal with fonts and formatting. But I think this client-side library works well enough, as a start:,Fill...

    I've also heard of one paid API that I forgot but seemed to work well, and this related service, and I also considered porting some server-side libraries to WASM. One day I'll collect all the libraries and findings in a blog post.

    Are you looking to programmatically fill any PDF form by detecting the fields? Or are you filling one known PDF template?

  • react-pdf

    📄 Create PDF files using React

  • is good as well if you want to use React.

  • pandoc

    Universal markup converter

  • Congrats on the launch, I guess, but there are so many free options that I can't think of a situation where paying $0.25 per document would be justified...? Just to name a few:

    Back in the days, I used to use XSL-FO [0] and it was okay. It was not very precise but it rarely if ever broke, and was perfectly integrated with an XML/XSLT solution. Yeah, this was a long time ago.

    Last month I used html-to-pdfmake [1] and it's also not very precise and more fragile, but very efficient and fast.

    Yet another approach would be to pro grammatically generate .rtf files (for example) and use Pandoc [2] to produce PDFs (I have not tried this in production but don't see why it wouldn't work).




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