Convert HTML to PDF in Nodejs

Without Puppeteer, phantomjs or any other headless browser.

To convert an HTML to PDF in the backend, you usually need a headless browser like Puppeteer or phantomjs. The downside of headless browsers is that they are resource intensive. If you need to convert an HTML in Nodejs, is there a way to do so without them? The answer is yes but with a caveat: The HTML should be relatively simple, and you will only have a few options to style the document.

Below, let’s see how we can achieve that.

The Code

Install these libraries with npm or yarn:

npm i html-to-pdfmake jsdom pdfmake

Now run the self-explanatory code below to generate a pdf that has a table of famous companies. You should get companies.pdf file in the directory where you run the script:

(You can also get the code from Github repo.)

const pdfMake = require("pdfmake/build/pdfmake");
const pdfFonts = require("pdfmake/build/vfs_fonts");
pdfMake.vfs = pdfFonts.pdfMake.vfs;
const fs = require("fs");
const jsdom = require("jsdom");
const { JSDOM } = jsdom;
const { window } = new JSDOM("");
const htmlToPdfMake = require("html-to-pdfmake");

const HTML = `
  <h1>World Companies</h1>
  <p>Following is the data of some notable companies:</p>

      <td>Mountain View, California</td>
      <td>United States</td>
      <td>Menlo Park, California</td>
      <td>United States</td>
      <td>Minato City, Tokyo</td>

const html = htmlToPdfMake(HTML, {

const docDefinition = {
  content: [html],
  // pageOrientation: "landscape",
  styles: {
    "html-h1": {
      color: "#003366",
      background: "white",

const pdfDocGenerator = pdfMake.createPdf(docDefinition);
pdfDocGenerator.getBuffer(function (buffer) {
  fs.writeFileSync("companies.pdf", buffer);

The pdf will look something like this:

Companies PDF
Fig. Companies PDF

Notice the color styling of h1. To get a landscape pdf, pass pageOrientation: "landscape" in the docDefinition (commented).

To know how to include images from url in HTML to PDF generation check In Node JS HTML to PDF conversion, Populate Image URLs

nodejs  script  pdf 

See also

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