PDF Generation with Wicked pdf in Rails

I am using ruby 1.9.2 and rails 3. I think Wicked pdf is better than other rails pdf generation plugins. To start with wicked follow the steps :

    Step 1: Open the terminal and go to your rails application folder.

  • $ cd /home/MyApp
    Install wkhtmltopdf first .Open gem file, and add the line
    gem ‘wkhtmltopdf’
    $ bundle install
    Wicked pdf is using the wkhtmltopdf to create a pdf document from a rails html template.
    With wicked pdf we can, 

    1. Define documents structure through a simple html document.
    2. Theme them through CSS
    3. Just Download the static complied version from wkhtmltopdf home page. Extract it and place it under /usr/local/bin.
      Note : If your system is 64-bit download the 64Bit version. Else you get error, Something like ‘Exec Error’,’Executable format error’, etc.

    Step 2: Install wicked pdf plugin

  • $ rails plugin install git://github.com/mileszs/wicked_pdf.git
    now a configuration file is needed, we can use plugins generator script for it . But in rails 3 it will not work. Just copy the wicked_pdf.rb to initializers.
    $ cp vendor/plugins/wicked_pdf/lib/wicked_pdf.rb config/initializers
    and add the following to the config/initializers/wicked_pdf.rb
    WICKED_PDF = {
    :exe_path => ‘/usr/local/bin’

    Step 3:Add pdf instructions to your controller.

  • In my rails app I created an action index_pdf. Under the action put the following line.
    def index_pdf
    render :pdf => “my_pdf”,:layout => false,:template => ‘/users/index_pdf’,:footer => {:center =>
    “Center”, :left => “Left”, :right => “Right”}
    The render :pdf call has a lot of options. you can use these.

    Step 4: Create a view file in app/view/index_pdf.erb

  • Put the link in your app, in your home page or somewhere.
    <%= link_to ‘Create PDF document’, index_pdf_path(@user, :format => :pdf) %>
    the index_pdf_path is the path I mentioned in the route.rb file,
    match “/download_pdf(.:format)” => “users#index_pdf”, :method => :get, :as=>:index_pdf
    When all are set click the link to download the pdf.
  • Include image in Wicked pdf

    write a function in application helper to take your images in wicked pdf.
    def pdf_image_tag(image, options = {})
    options[:src] = File.expand_path(RAILS_ROOT) + ‘/public/images’ + image
    tag(:img, options)
    Add your image in public/images.
    Write the following code in view  <%= pdf_image_tag(‘photo.png’, :style=>”margin:0px;padding:0px”,

    :width=>”160″, :height=>”160″)%>

Its ‘wicked!!’ isn’t it?

About Abhi

Hi, this is Abhilash - Software Engineer specialised on web programming. Mainly working on Ruby On Rails platform since 2010.
This entry was posted in Ruby On Rails. Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to PDF Generation with Wicked pdf in Rails

  1. Nishant says:

    I would like to know , can we use a pdf file as template to write the content using WickedPDF using Ruby on Rails. That means i will be accessing a PDF file with Header and footer on it and WickedPdf will use that template to write text on it.

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