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Download as PDF

Project description

develop master

This package allows your users to download Plone content as PDF files. As admin you can define specific PDF themes per content-type.


Requires wkhtmltopdf system-package installed on your server. See eea.converter documentation for more details.



Main features

  1. Adds download as PDF action at the bottom of the page
  2. Possibility to define custom PDF themes per content-type
  3. Asynchronously generate PDF files and notify users by email when PDF is ready
  4. Possibility to temporarily disable dynamic PDF creation by adding an item called ‘action-download-pdf’ within context


eggs =

zcml =

External PDF generator tools

Ensure that you have installed wkhtmltopdf on your machine. You can also install wkhtmltopdf from buildout:


parts +=

recipe =
url =

environment-vars +=
    WKHTMLTOPDF_PATH ${wkhtmltopdf:location}/wkhtmltopdf

Asynchronous setup

By default all PDFs are generated asynchronous, therefore some extra config is needed within your buildout in order for this to work properly.

First of all you’ll need a folder were to store generated PDF files. For this you can create it manually within buildout:directory/var/ or you can let buildout handle it:


parts +=

media-downloads-path = ${buildout:directory}/var/downloads/pdf
media-downloads-temp = ${buildout:directory}/var/downloads/tmp

recipe = ore.recipe.fs:mkdir
path = ${buildout:media-downloads-path}
mode = 0700
createpath = true

recipe = ore.recipe.fs:mkdir
path = ${buildout:media-downloads-temp}
mode = 0700
createpath = true

This will create a folder named downloads within buildout:directory/var/

Next, in order for this folder to be visible from your website and your users to be able to download generated PDFs you’ll need to tell to your zope instances about it:


media-downloads-name = downloads
media-downloads-path = ${buildout:directory}/var/downloads/pdf
media-downloads-temp = ${buildout:directory}/var/downloads/tmp


environment-vars +=
    EEADOWNLOADS_NAME ${buildout:media-downloads-name}
    EEADOWNLOADS_PATH ${buildout:media-downloads-path}
    EEACONVERTER_TEMP ${buildout:media-downloads-temp}

Also, don’t forget to setup


eggs +=
zcml +=

Getting started

  1. Go to Site Setup > PDF Settings
  2. Customize an existing PDF theme or add a new one
  3. Go to Home page and click on download as pdf icon at the bottom of the page or directly access http://localhost:8080/Plone/front-page/download.pdf

PDF Theme options

For more information about wkhtmltopdf options like Table of contents XSL file, header and footer parameters, etc. see wkhtmltopdf documentation.


A page template to be used for PDF Cover. Leave empty to disable it. Default: pdf.cover


A page template containing copyright and author information. This page will be placed between cover and PDF body. Leave empty to skip it. Default: pdf.disclaimer


A page template to be used for PDF body. An empty value will skip PDF body. Default: pdf.body

Back Cover

A page template to be used for back cover. Leave empty to disable back cover. Default: pdf.cover.back

Table of contents

An XSL page template to be used for PDF Table of contents. See wkhtmltopdf documentation for more information about XSL format. Leave empty to disable Table of contents. Default: pdf.toc


Enable or disable javascript. Default: True

JavaScript Delay

Wait some seconds for javascript to finish Default: 0


Abort PDF conversion after this number of seconds Default: 3600


Generate PDF asynchronously and send an email to the user when it’s done Default: True


Start counting pages within PDF Body from this number. Usefull when cover and/or disclaimer are enabled. Default: 0

Maximum depth

This option defines the maximum depth a folderish item can go while recursively includes it’s children within PDF. Default: 1 (include only direct children, non-folderish ones)

Maximum breadth

This options limit the number of direct children a folderish item can include within PDF. Default: 100

Maximum items

The total items to be included within PDF export for a folderish item, including depth and breadth. Default: 1000

Portal types

Apply this theme to selected portal types. Default:

Custom permissions

Custom permissions added by this package

Can download PDF (

Assign this permission to roles that you want to be able to download content as PDF Default: Owner, Manager, Editor

Can customize PDF (eea.pdf.customize)

Assign this permission to roles that you want to be able to contextually customize the output PDF look and feel Default: Manager, Site Administrator

Content rules

This package uses Plone Content-rules to notify users by email when an asynchronous PDF job is done. Thus 3 custom content-rules will be added within Plone > Site Setup > Content-rules


As these content-rules are triggered by an asynchronous job, while you customize the email template for these content-rules, please DO NOT USE OTHER string substitutions that the ones that start with $download_ as you’ll break the download chain. Also if you disable these content-rules the users will never know when the PDF is ready and what is the link where they can download the output PDF.

Export succeeded

Notify the person who requested a PDF export that the PDF successfully exported and provide a link to the downloadable PDF

Export failed

Notify the person who requested a PDF export that the PDF export failed.

Export failed (admin)

Notify admin that there were issues while exporting PDF

Content rules email string substitution

In order to be able to easily customize emails sent by this package the following custom email template string substitutions can be made


The absolute URL of the Plone object which is downloaded as PDF


Email address of the user that triggered the download as PDF action


Error traceback when download as PDF job fails


Site Admin email address customizable via Plone > Site Setup > Mail


Site Admin name customizable via Plone > Site Setup > Mail


Title of the Plone object which is downloaded as PDF


The absolute URL where the generated output PDF can be downloaded


Download type. Default to PDF for this package. It is package specific and it can be PDF, EPUB, etc.

Disable PDF export

You have the possibility to temporarily disable dynamic PDF export contextually by adding a static PDF file (or a Python Script, Page Template, etc) within context called action-download-pdf. This way /download.pdf will return this file instead of generating one based on context data.


This works only with folderish items.


PDFs are generated asynchronously using a parallel zc.async queue.quota. The number of workers that will generate PDFs in parallel is automatically calculated based on the number of zeo-clients registered with*_db_worker.

As every db_worker can handle simultaneously maximum 3 jobs (hard-coded in zc.async Agent), if you have 2 workers then the maximum number of PDFs that will be generated at the same time will be 6 (2 workers * 3). Same if you have 5, you’ll get 15 PDFs generated at the same time.

If for any reason you don’t want them to be generated simultaneously you can set environment variable EEAPDF_ASYNC_THREADS to 1 within buildout:





environment-vars +=

Also, if you experience issues by having too many simultaneously PDF jobs, you can limit them in the same way as above.

Source code


EEA - European Environment Agency (EU)


9.3 - (2020-09-18)

  • Bugfix: Adjust pdf output of indicators [szabozo0 refs #121188]

9.2 - (2019-07-04)

  • Change: Use sans serif fallback instead of Open Sans due to issues with font loading of wkhtmltopdf [ichim-david refs #107145]

9.1 - (2019-01-28)

  • Jenkins: Add sonarqube step [avoinea refs #101552]

9.0 - (2018-11-23)

  • Change: Group only the first paragraph with heading h2 and h3 within “nobreak” container to avoid to many white-space blocks in generated PDF files. [avoinea refs #100179]
  • Bug fix: Fixed PDF header width for Fiches [avoinea refs #100179]

8.9 - (2018-08-30)

  • Bug fix: Fixed PDF generator with short title [avoinea refs #97618]

8.8 - (2018-08-21)

  • Change: updated URLs pointing to with https:// [alecghica refs #95849]

8.7 - (2018-05-25)

  • Bug fix: Speed-up cache invalidation for backward-references [avoinea refs #95020]

8.6 - (2018-04-24)

  • Change: Make zc.async logs less verbose about PDF downloads [avoinea]

8.5 - (2018-01-08)

  • Change: updated pdf.print.css with changes from custom [ichim-david refs #90180]

8.4 - (2017-12-12)

  • Change: Replace eeacms/zptlint with eeacms/plone-test:4 zptlint [avoinea refs #90415]

8.3 - (2017-11-07)

  • Change: Remove Sphinx generated documentation [petchesi-iulian refs #88212]

8.2 - (2017-07-10)

  • Change: can_download now checks also zope2.View permission on context. This avoids a situation where you cannot view the context but you can trigger a pdf download [ichim-david refs #86581]

8.1 - (2017-06-23)

  • Bug fix: return None if the attribute is not found [iulianpetchesi #86181]

8.0 - (2017-05-22)

  • Change: fixed PyLint warnings and errors [valipod refs #84949]

7.9 - (2017-05-15)

  • Change: fixed PyLint warnings and errors [eduard-fironda refs #84949]

7.8 - (2017-04-24)

  • Change: updated package information [eduard-fironda]

7.7 - (2017-04-19)

  • Bug fix: safely check for cover subtitle [ichim-david refs #83520]

7.6 - (2017-04-13)

  • Feature: added ability to disable cover subtitle per theme [ichim-david refs #83520]

7.5 - (2017-03-02)

  • Bugfix: fix wkhtmltopdf segmentation fault by setting 100% height on img which have page-break-inside avoid [ichim-david refs #80861]

7.4 - (2017-02-21)

  • Change: Update pdf.print CSS and JS with more elements to be hidden [avoinea refs #81054]

7.3 - (2016-12-05)

  • Feature: added translations [irina-botez]

7.2 - (2016-11-14)

  • Change: word break external-link avoiding thus having a smaller pdf render [ichim-david refs #78802]

7.1 - (2016-11-07)

  • Feature: added css classes for cover-header types [ichim-david refs #78802]
  • Bug fix: fixed figures hidden when placed after featureHeading [ichim-david refs #78802]

7.0 - (2016-10-31)

  • Bug fix: fixed pdf output of collection pdf theme where title and page had a lot of empty space [ichim-david refs #77970]
  • Bug fix: fixed figure heading from being disconnected from the figure charts that follow them [ichim-david refs #77970]

6.9 - (2016-10-14)

  • Feature: book theme now shows folder title within toc and content [ichim-david refs #77476]
  • Bug fix: Remove image property from profile exporting [ZuluPro refs #76260]

6.8 - (2016-10-03)

  • Change: Updated to use plone.stringinterp IContextWrapper adapter [avoinea]
  • Bug fix: include children of the folders when generate pdf [catalin refs #75057]

6.7 - (2016-09-05)

  • Change: PDFTheme now uses a blob image field [ichim-david refs #75045]

6.6 - (2016-02-15)

  • Change: fixed pdf disclaimer qrbox margins placement [ichimdav refs #69095]

6.5 - (2015-12-08)

  • Change: Use Open sans for figure titles and googlecharts-notes of inline charts that are part of indicators [ichimdav refs #30473]

6.4 - (2015-12-07)

  • Change: content table is now of display table instead of block in order to strech tables to 100% of viewable space [ichimdav refs #30473]

6.3 - (2015-11-16)

  • Change: box-classification is now visible in the pdf output [ichimdav refs #30421]

6.2 - (2015-10-22)

  • Bug fix: pdf segmentation fault [lucas refs #28298]
  • Feature: Possibility to bulk invalidate PDFs per theme [chiridra refs #28517]

6.1 - (2015-10-05)

  • Bug fix: avoid a page break immediately after a header [lucas refs #28588]

6.0 - (2015-09-10)

  • Change: Drop pdftk dependency and use pure Python PyPDF2 package [voineali refs #28522]

5.9 - (2015-09-04)

  • Change: removed indicator-figure styling for pdf.print.css, any fixes to the indicator pdf sizes can be added in other eea packages [ichimdav refs #28278]

5.8 - (2015-08-18)

  • Feature: Switched to dedicated zc.async queue quota for PDF jobs which allows multiple jobs to run in parallel. This will speed up PDF generation by using all worker instances at the same time. [voineali refs #28019]
  • Bug fix: take into consideration that download.pdf could be found even though the eea.pdf viewlet is missing because of templates customizing main instead of content-core [ichimdav refs #27958]
  • Change: qrbox is now cleared avoiding the qrbox from being floated [ichimdav refs #27537]
  • Change: Added themes for PloneHelpCenter Leaf page, Section, Manual. [ghitab refs #27615]
  • Upgrade step: Within “Plone > Site setup > Add-ons” click on upgrade button available for EEA PDF
  • Bug fix: avoid a page break immediately after a header [lucas refs #27657]
  • Feature: implement the random selection of the pdf cover image [lucas refs #27603]

5.7 - (2015-07-28)

  • Change: append a pdf limit page when a pdf limit is reached with the book theme giving a visual warning on the missing pages [ichimdav refs #27539]
  • Change: reverted change added in egg 5.6 regarding the can_download logic [ichimdav refs #27539]

5.6 - (2015-07-28)

  • Change: can_download now returns false when you have a folder with folder or collections, avoiding thus a master pdf with empty pages [ichimdav refs #27539]
  • Bug fix: fixed retrieval of toc when using the setTemplate method [ichimdav refs #27475]
  • Bug fix: removed overblown cover image, span it 100% instead [ichimdav refs #27479]

5.5 - (2015-05-26)

  • Bug fix: Keep module for backward compatibility [voineali refs #25755]

5.4 - (2015-05-05)

  • Feature: added a new option to themes to allow the serving of static footer and header templates for situations where wkhtmltopdf would crash when pdf output is over 200 pages. This option will render the templates once and then serve them going forward. If this is enabled you should avoid tal conditions that change from page to page. [ichimdav refs #23904]

5.3 - (2015-04-02)

  • Feature: added toc depth option which configures per context which header tags are found within the toc page, as well as having the ability to disable the toc per context [ichimdav refs #24351]
  • Change: added change for disclaimer Browser View to use the macro from [ichimdav refs #23322]

5.2 - (2015-03-17)

  • Change: added archiveMessage class to the list of items to hide within print [ichim-david refs #23017]
  • Change: Switched to curl in the jenkins build install script [olimpiurob refs #22402]
  • Change: Changed fetch url for jenkins build install script to the install script from the main EEA CPB repository [olimpiurob refs #22402]
  • Bug fix: Added a way to know if the PDF is being generated even if the async worker is down or the queue is too busy. [voineali refs #23411]

5.1 - (2015-02-26)

  • Change: removed icons from disclaimer added in previous egg release since they didn’t pdf print correctly [ichimdav refs #23322]
  • Feature: added with logic that goes into the disclaimer browser page in order for the contents of it to easily be modifiable [ichimdav refs #23322]

5.0 - (2015-02-25)

  • Bug fix: Fixed PDF memcache when called with/without ajax_load [voineali refs #23103]
  • Bug fix: Fixed UnicodeDecodeError within download.pdf template [voineali refs #23338]
  • Bug fix: Fixed download as PDF actions permissions [avoinea]
  • Bug fix: Fixed viewlet name [avoinea]
  • Bug fix: Fixed download link when fallback PDF is provided within parent [voineali refs #23291]
  • Change: Moved async API to eea.converter in order to reuse it for other async jobs (e.g. eea.epub) [voineali refs #22971

4.9 - (2015-02-16)

  • Feature: Added possibility to add a fallback PDF file within context called action-download-pdf in order to temporarily stop dynamic PDF generation and statically return this item. [voineali refs #22970]
  • Change: Do not merge pdf.print.css in order to easily reuse it within epub export [voineali refs #22686]
  • Change: Added timestamp and print notice on pdf disclaimer page [ichimdav refs #22442]
  • Change: removed publishing house copyright notice from the pdf disclaimer page [ichimdav refs #22442]
  • Feature: Added possibility to use specific ZPT macro while exporting collection PDF body [voineali refs #22686]
  • i18n: Add Italian translation [cekk]

4.8 - (2015-02-03)

  • Feature: Added “Download as PDF” action also within export_actions category [voineali refs #22686]

4.7 - (2014-12-23)

  • Bug fix: Use with statement with temporary files in order to ensure that they are safely closed before exit [voineali refs #22080]

4.6 - (2014-12-02)

  • Bug fix: Use shared temporary directory defined by eea.converter 8.5+ in order to avoid surprises while using together with zc.async [voineali refs #21958]

4.5 - (2014-11-20)

  • Change: new egg release to include documentation folder [ghicaale refs #21453]

4.4 - (2014-11-20)

  • Feature: Extend eea.cache invalidation form with PDF option in order to be able to manually invalidate latest generated PDF within Cache tab [voineali refs #21630]
  • Change: cover images are enhanced if eea.depiction is installed by using the image named image within the folder instead of needing to add the image to the coverImage field [ichim-david refs #21637]
  • Feature: added coverImage field to folderish content which allows you to set custom images for the cover page [ichimd-david refs #21637]
  • Change: Refactoring default themes: page for simple items and book for collections and folderish items [avoinea]
  • Bug fix: Fix letter spacing within headers [avoinea]
  • Feature: Update documentation [avoinea]

4.3 - (2014-10-15)

  • Change: Bring several improvements to the PDF output from custom. use Palatino by default. better margins for certain elements. moved some css to standard print.css [demarant]

4.2 - (2014-10-01)

  • Bug fix: Cleanup temporary files in all cases generated by this package [voineali refs #21149]
  • Change: Prefix temporary files with package name: eea.pdf. [voineali refs #21149]
  • Bug fix: Avoid collision when multiple async workers generate the same file [voineali refs #21149]
  • Feature: Added “javascript-delay” option per theme in order to wait for javascript to execute [voineali refs #21068]
  • Bug fix: Safely get title_or_id with PDF content-rules [voineali refs #21068]
  • Feature: mark the beginning of the convertion by creating a .tmp files [ghicaale refs #20972]

4.1 - (2014-09-16)

  • Bug fix: Fixed ‘AttributeError: async’ within PDF Settings control panel [avoinea]

4.0 - (2014-09-15)

  • Upgrade step: (optional) Within Plone > Site setup > PDF Settings ensure that all PDF themes have Asynchronous property checked and increase timeout to 3600 [voineali refs #20845]
  • Upgrade step: (optional) Within Plone > Site setup > Content-rules review all PDF related content-rules. As these rules are triggered by an async job DO NOT USE other string substitutions while sending emails than the ones the start with $download_ [voineali refs #20845]
  • Upgrade step: (optional) On server machine add a cleanup cron to remove generated PDF files older than 7 days (or more, depending on your storage size) [voineali refs #20845]
  • Upgrade step: Within “Plone > Site setup > Add-ons” click on upgrade button available for EEA PDF
  • Feature: Ask for email when user tries to asynchronously export PDF if the system can’t get it from current user’s profile [voineali refs #20846]
  • Feature: Generate PDFs asynchronously with Enabled by default with this version. It can be manually disabled from Site Setup > PDF Settings > Theme [voineali refs #20843]

3.2 - (2014-09-07)

  • Bug fix: Re-release broken version 3.1 [avoinea]

3.1 - (2014-08-27)

  • Feature: Speed-up PDF export by caching pdf.body method using memcached if eea.cache is present [voineali refs #20678]
  • Feature: Added print CSS for embeded daviz charts [voineali refs #20523]

3.0 - (2014-08-12)

  • Upgrade step: Assign “Can download PDF” permission to CommonEditor
  • Upgrade step: Within “Plone > Site setup > Add-ons” click on upgrade button available for EEA PDF
  • Change: Added i18n translations [voineali refs #20431]
  • Bug fix: Hide some indicators boxes within PDF export [voineali refs #20454]
  • Bug fix: Fixed spacing for key messages and related items [voineali refs #20457]
  • Bug fix: Fixed CSS used for tables within PDF export [voineali refs #20462]
  • Change: Skip description within PDF cover if length of first sentence is greather that 80 characters [voineali refs #20456]
  • Feature: Include iframes and interpret javascript. Also added option to disable javascript per theme. [voineali refs #20459]
  • Cleanup: Removed beautifulsoup4 dependency and cleanup all fixes made with this tool [voineali refs #20459]
  • Feature: Added global and local PDF settings for collection and folderish content-types: Max depth, Max breadth and Total Max Items [voineali refs #20436]
  • Feature: Added possibility to locally override PDF Theme to use within PDF export [voineali refs #20436]
  • Feature: Added possibility to locally disable PDF export [voineali refs #20436]
  • Feature: Added IPDFAware marker interface in order to easily support PDF export. Added Dexterity support, also. [voineali refs #20436]
  • Feature: Added “Can download PDF” and “Can customize PDF” permissions [voineali refs #20436]
  • Change: Removed default PDF theme concept. If there is no PDF Theme assigned for a content-type, PDF can’t be downloaded [voineali refs #20436]

2.0 - (2014-07-16)

  • Feature: added style for excluding certain parts from PDF. [demarant #20255]
  • Upgrade step: Within “Plone > Site setup > Add-ons” click on upgrade button available for EEA PDF
  • Upgrade step: Within “Plone > Site setup > Add-ons” uninstall collective.sendaspdf
  • Feature: Added table of contents support [voineali refs #20268]
  • Feature: Added custom pdf.body for Topic and Collection content-types that is an aggregated page based on query results pdf.body [voineali refs #20267]
  • Feature: Added custom pdf.body for Plone Folder ctype that is an aggregated page based on children pdf.body [voineali refs #20267]
  • Cleanup: Remove collective.sendaspdf dependency [voineali refs #20268]

1.1 - (2014-06-30)

  • Bug fix: fixed condition for print css which failed when using collective.sendaspdf to download a pdf [ichimdav refs #19880]
  • Bug fix: use for better portal types matching [ichim-david refs #19880]

1.0 - (2014-06-06)

  • Upgrade step: Within “Plone > Site setup > Add-ons” install “EEA PDF” [voineali refs #19761]
  • Initial release

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