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?

Author: Abhilash

Hey! My name is Abhilash - A Ruby developer for years, specialised on web programming, working as a freelancer. Mainly working on Ruby On Rails platform since 2010. This blog is about Ruby, Ruby On Rails and other subjects that I work. You can contact me here: abhilash.amballur@gmail.com Abhilash AK

One thought on “PDF Generation with Wicked pdf in Rails”

  1. 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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