HTML Support for PDF Landing Pages
LISTSERV Maestro allows you to create a PDF landing page by specifying its layout and content using HTML syntax.
This HTML is then converted to the PDF format using the Open HTML to PDF engine.
It is therefore necessary that you use only such HTML for a PDF landing page, as is supported by this engine. To quote from Open HTML to PDF's own documentation:
Be aware that you can not throw modern HTML5+ at this engine and expect a great result. You must special craft the HTML document for this library and use it's extended CSS feature [...] to get good results.
For this reason, please use the official Open HTML to PDF documentation as your main reference about what HTML to use to achieve the desired results. (For reference: Maestro uses version 1.0.10 of Open HTML to PDF.)
This is also the reason why you cannot use Maestro's WYSIWYG-editor to create a PDF landing page, because the HTML that is created by that editor does not fully comply with Open HTML to PDF's stringent requirements. Instead, you need to hand craft your PDF's HTML code.
To craft a PDF document, you can of course use all the standard HTML elements, like headings, paragraphs, tables, images, etc. with all the usual styles like colors, font properties, margins, paddings, and so on.
But in addition to these standard elements, there are also certain elements that are unique to PDF documents in general and/or to the Open HTML to PDF engine. The most important ones in this latter group are described in more detail on the pages linked below.
- Page Rules
- Page Size
- Page Breaks
- Page Margins
- Margin Content (Headers & Footers)
- Page Numbers
- Page Number References
- Table Headers & Footers
Special Use of Open HTML to PDF in LISTSERV Maestro
No XHTML Required
While the Open HTML to PDF engine requires well-formed XML/XHTML as the input, it is not necessary that you restrict yourself to XHTML when specifying the code for a PDF landing page in Maestro. You can specify normal HTML (within the bounds of what Open HTML to PDF supports) and Maestro will automatically convert it to XHTML for you, before passing it on to the engine.
No DOCTYPE Required
Because it uses pure XML/XHTML as its input, by default Open HTML to PDF does not even recognize
the usual HTML entities, like for example
make the engine aware of these entities, you need to specify a special DOCTYPE with your document.
In Maestro this is not necessary, as Maestro automatically adds this DOCTYPE to the HTML code of any PDF landing page that you specify. So, you can freely access the usual HTML entities without bothering with a DOCTYPE. On the other hand, this also means that you cannot specify your own DOCTYPE, as it will be removed by Maestro and replaced with the standard DOCTYPE.
TrueType Web Fonts Supported
For nicer type setting, you can include any readily available TrueType (.ttf) web font on the PDF landing page.
The most convenient way for this is to first add the desired font to your
Then you can freely use any such font in the HTML code of the PDF landing page, usually by specifying
font-family in the style attribute of a suitable tag, without having to
bother with the correct font importing code, as Maestro automatically imports the font
For this to work properly, take care to specify the correct
font-family so that
Maestro recognizes it as one of your Editor Fonts. This is most easily done by not
typing the font-family yourself, but by picking it from the list of available fonts via
the Insert Font Family button in the toolbar.
Of course, if you absolutely have to, you can also use web fonts that are not among your Editor Fonts, as long as you then supply the correct font importing code manually. Note, that OpenType fonts are not supported.
SVG Graphics Supported
The SVG rendering plugin for Open HTML to PDF is also available in Maestro, so you can include SVG graphics on your landing page. This is very useful to create light weight images that scale well for print and various screen sizes.
For technical reasons, the size of the PDF file is limited by the storage space that is required during PDF creation. This limit is 16 MB. If generating the PDF file requires more than 16 MB, the PDF cannot be generated and you get an error message instead. If this happens, reduce the amount of content in the HTML code and try again.