Native pdf generator (with jspdf integrated)

Sorry I was't clear, I'm interested from developer perspective, when you say that jspdf should be natively integrated in Retool, do you imagine to use the jspdf code to create the template?

such as:

var doc = new jsPDF();
doc.ellipse(40, 20, 10, 5);
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Im not a developer but i think may be like this thats sync fusion .net framework, for me will be the same for jspdf or another free pdf generator lib. As a gui to drag and drop i know that will be harder to implement in retool

From the example you mentioned, yes, creating a template is all about coding it.
BTW having jspdf in a custom component is not that hard.

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Yeah we know theres some solution from @bradlymathews i think about it. But will be good to have in a native way just like any retool component. What you think ? Maybe some predefined templates, option to create own template etc

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I think the most flexible solution, and easiest to get started with, would be to add HTML to PDF conversion either to the PDF component or as a Util function.

We devs would be responsible for building the html (having handlebars.js as a built in library would help with this) and we pass the html into the PDF component which would render it and display it.

The PDF component would also be integrated with Retool Storage so it could be automatically uploaded there and then (when the feature is available) open a new tab to the Retool Storage URL for the PDF and then it can be printed from the browser.

The challenge is that all of the JS based HTML to PDF converters that Retool could build this off of are kinda crap.

The more reliable solution is to host a service that does HTML->PDF for real. Say Carbone (it is supposedly an open source library) or go with a true power solution like ABCpdf (that requires a Windows VM). It could be monetized like Workflows: 100 free then $10 per 1000 or something.


Would be nice to have a resource to send our data to fill a template of and external pdf maker

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Sound good the idea from html to pdf

There are tons of external solutions to convert HTML to PDF at scale.

In this thread those services were mentioned negatively since they are not free, indeed, he asked the feature request for a free internal solution.

You're suggesting for an internal pay-per-use service. So it's not clear to me why is ok to pay for an internal service but not for an external one.

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Many users leveraging low-code and no-code solutions often lack extensive technical backgrounds. The process of integrating an external source into a custom component can be quite daunting. Despite having a decent knowledge base, I found myself spending approximately 8 hours last night just deciphering the intricacies of making everything work seamlessly.

The existing documentation could benefit from enhanced clarity. A comprehensive solution might involve providing a highly explicit and clear tutorial, perhaps in the form of a video that users can follow along with, ensuring a smoother learning curve for creating custom components.

Moreover, the current approach of requiring two or three separate accounts to generate a PDF seems unnecessarily complex. With an abundance of existing integrations, consolidating these processes into a single account would significantly improve user experience.

When it comes to choosing between paying for an external source versus an internal one, the inherent skepticism around online services adds an extra layer of consideration. The familiarity with an internal service often feels safer—opting for "the devil you know" when it comes to financial transactions in the online realm.

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Too many people on the internet want free everything, and often that is the exact value they receive, which goes a long way toward explaining the dumpster fire many parts of the internet have become. You do get what you pay for.

I use my jsPDF module for one client. I have another client that jsPDF does not work for reliably so they pay for I also have a VM on Azure that runs ABCpdf for PDFs that would choke Carbone and that has cost me around $3000/year in VM, storage and license fees for 15 years.

So let's get the integrated (and free since it runs on the client) jsPDF version first which will work for simple PDFs (invoices, basic reports, picking tags, mailing labels and so on) and use the external services for the more complex needs. And hopefully Retool brings that in-house at some point and we can pay them for it instead.


Y'all, I am using Neutrino API to create PDFs in workflows and it works great.

In this case, I'm ingesting html that I constructed in Javascript and sending it to Neutrino to compile and convert to pdf. Output of this call is base64, which you can then attach to Retool's email resource.

It's fast and works great. Would recommend, 10/10.