Discover how mpdf can transform your PDFs with step-by-step examples.

Table of content

  1. Introduction to mpdf
  2. Installation and setup of mpdf
  3. Basic usage of mpdf
  4. Advanced features of mpdf
  5. Creating custom styles with mpdf
  6. Tips and tricks for optimizing PDFs with mpdf
  7. Troubleshooting common issues with mpdf
  8. Conclusion and next steps

Introduction to mpdf

mpdf is a powerful PHP library that allows developers to convert HTML documents into professional-quality PDF files. With mpdf, users can customize the layout and design of their PDF files with ease, and the resulting files are fully compatible with modern browsers and PDF viewers.

One of the main benefits of using mpdf is its ease of use. Developers can quickly generate PDF files by simply passing an HTML template to the library, along with any necessary configuration options. This makes it an ideal choice for developers who want to add PDF generation capabilities to their existing web applications.

Another key feature of mpdf is its flexibility. The library supports a wide range of customization options, including support for custom fonts, colors, and images. Additionally, mpdf includes powerful layout tools that allow developers to create complex layouts quickly and easily.

Overall, mpdf is a powerful tool for developers looking to generate professional-quality PDF files quickly and easily. Its ease of use, flexibility, and powerful features make it an excellent choice for a wide range of web development projects. In the following sections, we'll explore some of the key features of mpdf and show you how to get started with the library.

Installation and setup of mpdf

Before we can start using mpdf, we need to install it and set it up properly. Here are the steps to follow:

  1. Download mpdf from the official website. You can choose between the stable version and the development version, depending on your needs.

  2. Extract the files from the downloaded package to a folder on your web server.

  3. Set the permissions on the "tmp" folder to allow mpdf to write files to it. You can do this using the command-line interface or your FTP client. Make sure to set the permissions to 775 or 777, depending on your server configuration.

  4. Create a basic HTML template for your document. This will be used as the base for your PDF file. Here is an example:

    <title>My PDF Document</title>
  1. Include mpdf in your script. Here's the code to do this:

require_once __DIR__ . '/vendor/autoload.php';

$mpdf = new \Mpdf\Mpdf();

$html = file_get_contents('path/to/basic/template.html');


$mpdf->Output('my-document.pdf', \Mpdf\Output\Destination::FILE);


Note that you will need to change the path to the HTML file and the output file name to match your own configuration.

That's it! Now you can run your script and mpdf will generate a PDF file based on the HTML template you created. Keep in mind that this is just a basic setup and there are many more options and features available in mpdf that you can explore.

Basic usage of mpdf

mpdf is an open source PHP library used for generating PDF documents on the fly. It offers a range of features for creating and formatting PDFs, including the ability to add text, fonts, images, tables, and barcodes. Here's a quick guide to the :

  1. Installation: To get started with mpdf, you need to install it on your server. You can use Composer to install it and manage dependencies. Run the following command in your terminal to install mpdf:

     composer require mpdf/mpdf
  2. Creating a new PDF: Once you have installed mpdf, you can create a new PDF document using the following code:

     $mpdf = new \Mpdf\Mpdf();
     $mpdf->WriteHTML('Hello World');

    This will create a new PDF document with the text "Hello World" written in it.

  3. Adding content: You can add content to your PDF document using the WriteHTML() method. For example, you can add a table to your PDF document using the following code:

     $html = '
             <td>John Doe</td>
             <td>Jane Doe</td>

    This will add a table with two columns (Name and Age) and two rows of data to your PDF document.

  4. Styling content: You can style the content in your PDF document using CSS. For example, you can change the font size and color of your text using the following code:

     $mpdf->WriteHTML('<p style="font-size: 24px; color: red;">Big and red text</p>');

    This will add a paragraph of text with a font size of 24px and a color of red to your PDF document.

  5. Saving the PDF: Once you have added all the content to your PDF document, you can save it using the Output() method. For example, you can save your PDF document to a file using the following code:

     $mpdf->Output('filename.pdf', 'D');

    This will save your PDF document to a file named "filename.pdf" and force the browser to download it.

Overall, using mpdf to create PDF documents is a straightforward process that requires basic knowledge of PHP and CSS. With its range of features, mpdf can help you generate professional-looking PDF documents quickly and easily.

Advanced features of mpdf

In addition to its basic functionalities, mpdf also offers advanced features that can transform your PDFs into impressive and professional documents. Here are some examples of these features:

Customized Page Size

mpdf allows you to set custom page sizes for your PDFs, which is particularly useful if you need to create documents that are not standard sizes. You can easily specify the width and height of each page in pixels, inches, or millimeters.


You can add a watermark to your PDFs using mpdf. The watermark can be an image or text that appears behind the content of the page. This feature is useful if you want to add a branding element to your documents or protect them from being copied.


mpdf provides a secure way to encrypt your PDFs, which is particularly important if you are dealing with sensitive information. You can set a password for your PDFs, which will prevent unauthorized access to the content.

HTML to PDF Conversion

mpdf can convert HTML pages to PDFs with ease. This feature is particularly useful if you have a website or document that you want to share in PDF format. Simply copy and paste your HTML code into mpdf, and it will generate a PDF document.

Barcode Generation

mpdf allows you to generate barcodes in your PDFs. This feature is useful if you need to include tracking information or product codes in your documents.

In summary, mpdf offers a variety of advanced features that can enhance the functionality and appearance of your PDFs. These features include customized page size, watermarking, encryption, HTML to PDF conversion, and barcode generation. By using these advanced features, you can create impressive and professional PDFs that will make a lasting impression.

Creating custom styles with mpdf

When it comes to creating custom styles for your PDFs, mpdf is an incredibly powerful tool. With mpdf, you can quickly and easily define your own styles that will make your PDFs stand out from the crowd. Here are some tips and examples to help you get started:

  • Start with the basics: Before diving into custom styles, it's important to have a good understanding of the basics of mpdf. Make sure you're comfortable with generating PDFs with mpdf, and that you have a basic understanding of the different options and settings available.
  • Define custom styles: Once you're familiar with the basics, you can start defining your own custom styles. This allows you to control the look and feel of your PDFs in a more precise way. For example, you might define a custom style for headings, or for special types of content like quotations or callouts.
  • Add custom fonts: One of the most powerful aspects of mpdf is its ability to handle custom fonts. This means you can use any font you like in your PDFs, rather than being limited to the standard web-safe fonts. To use a custom font, simply define it in your mpdf configuration file, and then reference it in your custom styles.
  • Experiment with CSS: Just like with web design, CSS is a powerful tool for styling your PDFs with mpdf. You can use all the usual CSS properties like color, font-size, margin, and padding to create custom styles that are just right for your content. Experiment with different combinations of CSS properties to find the right look for your PDFs.
  • Take advantage of mpdf extensions: Mpdf comes with many built-in extensions that can help you create advanced PDF features like watermarks, barcodes, and QR codes. These extensions can be easily integrated into your custom styles, allowing you to create professional-looking PDFs with ease.

By following these tips and examples, you can create custom styles with mpdf that will take your PDFs to the next level. Whether you're creating business reports, brochures, or just about any other type of document, mpdf has the tools you need to make your PDFs stand out. So why not give it a try?

Tips and tricks for optimizing PDFs with mpdf

If you're using mpdf to create your PDFs, there are a number of tips and tricks that you can use to optimize your documents and make them look their best. Here are some of the most useful ones:

Using templates for consistency

If you're creating multiple PDFs with similar layouts, you can save time by creating a template that you can reuse. This ensures consistency across documents and saves you from having to recreate the same layout from scratch each time.

Controlling page breaks

mpdf automatically adds page breaks when necessary, but you can also control where they occur manually by using the AddPage() method. You can also customize the page margin and orientation for each page by using the SetMargins() and Landscape() methods.

Embedding fonts

By default, mpdf only includes a limited set of fonts in the PDF. If you want to use a specific font that isn't included, you can embed it in the document using the SetFont() method. This ensures that the font will appear correctly on any device, regardless of whether or not the font is installed.

Adding watermarks

mpdf makes it easy to add watermarks to your PDFs using the SetWatermarkText() method. You can choose the position and opacity of the watermark, as well as the font and color.

Merging PDFs

If you need to combine multiple PDFs into one document, you can use the MultiCell() method to insert the contents of one PDF into another. This is particularly useful if you're generating PDFs dynamically and need to aggregate them into a single report or document.

By using these tips and tricks, you can ensure that your PDFs are optimized for your specific needs and look their best. With mpdf, it's easy to create high-quality documents that are tailored to your specific requirements.

Troubleshooting common issues with mpdf

While mpdf is a powerful tool for transforming PDFs, it is not without its challenges. Here are some common issues that mpdf users may encounter and how to troubleshoot them:

  1. Font issues – mpdf uses a specific set of fonts by default. If you need to use a different font, you may run into issues with encoding or font availability. To resolve this, you can either use a font that mpdf supports or define your own custom font.

  2. Image issues – mpdf can have difficulty with certain image formats or sizes. If you run into issues with images not appearing correctly or being too large or small, consider resizing the image or converting it to a supported format.

  3. Page breaks – mpdf may not always break pages where you want them to, resulting in awkward layouts or missing content. To fix this, you can use mpdf's various page break settings and styles to control where pages break.

  4. CSS issues – mpdf is designed to work with CSS, but certain CSS features may not be fully supported or may not work as expected. If you encounter issues with CSS not having the desired effect, try adjusting your CSS or using alternative methods to achieve your desired result.

By being aware of these common issues and how to troubleshoot them, you can make the most of mpdf's powerful PDF transformation capabilities. Additionally, the mpdf community is active and supportive, so if you encounter a problem that you can't solve on your own, there are plenty of resources available to help.

Conclusion and next steps

In conclusion, we can see that mpdf is a powerful tool for transforming PDFs. With its extensive features and customization options, it can cater to the needs of various industries and professions. By following our step-by-step examples, you can get a better understanding of how to use mpdf for your specific use case.

Now that you have a basic understanding of mpdf, you can explore its features further and experiment with its customization options. As you become more familiar with the tool, you can start using it for complex use cases and integrate it with other technologies such as PHP and HTML.

Additionally, you can explore other related tools and technologies such as wkhtmltopdf, TCPDF, and FPDF to see how they compare with mpdf and which one fits your requirements the best. With the ever-changing landscape of technology, it is crucial to stay up-to-date with the latest advancements and tools, and mpdf is just one of the many tools that can simplify your work and improve your productivity.

In conclusion, we hope this article has given you a better understanding of how mpdf can transform your PDFs and the endless possibilities it offers. Happy exploring!

As a developer, I have experience in full-stack web application development, and I'm passionate about utilizing innovative design strategies and cutting-edge technologies to develop distributed web applications and services. My areas of interest extend to IoT, Blockchain, Cloud, and Virtualization technologies, and I have a proficiency in building efficient Cloud Native Big Data applications. Throughout my academic projects and industry experiences, I have worked with various programming languages such as Go, Python, Ruby, and Elixir/Erlang. My diverse skillset allows me to approach problems from different angles and implement effective solutions. Above all, I value the opportunity to learn and grow in a dynamic environment. I believe that the eagerness to learn is crucial in developing oneself, and I strive to work with the best in order to bring out the best in myself.
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