Can I print to destination "Save as PDF" from a command line with Chrome or Chromium? I'd like to be able to automatically convert html files to PDF with Chrome's built-in functionality.

  • @golimar It is not a virtual printer. Chrome has a built-in option to export to pdf. – ipavlic May 8 '13 at 19:23
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    I don't see any built-in Chrome switches for saving as PDF. – Karan May 10 '13 at 1:07
  • @Karan When you go to Print there should be a Save to PDF destination available for you to choose. It's also clearly stated on Google's support page: support.google.com/chrome/bin/… – ipavlic May 10 '13 at 8:56
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    Perhaps my previous comment wasn't clear. You wanted to know how to do this from the command line, and what I wanted to say was that Chrome/Chromium seem to have no command-line switches/params to do this, although I know you can do it from the UI. You'll need to find some way of triggering the Save As option, perhaps by sending mouse clicks or key strokes. – Karan May 10 '13 at 14:36

Instead of calling up an entire web-browser, why not use the HTML rendering engine only to do the work? Use wkhtmltopdf to perform the conversion.


You can also convert an existing website to PDF

$ wkhtmltopdf http://google.com google.pdf

Note: technically Google Chrome's rendering engine is Blink, which is a fork of Webkit. There is >90% of common code between Blink and Webkit, so you should get a similar result.

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  • Note from having tried this and getting subtle things missing or broken: wkhtmltopdf's source contains QtWebkit patches that enable important features such as clickable links. Your distribution's package is likely to be missing such features if it lists your distribution's usual qtwebkit package as a dependency. Installing wkhtmltopdf from source takes 3.7GiB of disk and some hours. – Anko Sep 18 '15 at 10:41
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    -1 This answer does not correspond to the question, wkhtmltox is a great tool but it does not perform as well as chrome or firefox on exporting to PDF. – Carlos C Soto Jun 16 '16 at 0:25
  • @Anko Not sure I understood. What am I to expect by building wkhtmltopdf from source? – VH-NZZ Oct 12 '16 at 11:27
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    can't recommend it either, if you have sophisticated CSS wkhtmltopdf is useless. – MushyPeas Mar 18 '18 at 19:24
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    SVGs are not rendered. – Marco Sulla Mar 31 '19 at 13:42

Chrome has started headless program.

With that, we can create a pdf. e.g. for windows navigate your commandline to

C:\Users\{{your_username}}\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome SxS\Application>

Then hit the command:

chrome --headless --print-to-pdf="d:\\{{path and file name}}.pdf" https://google.com
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  • Just a heads up, if you have any existing instance of Chrome running on Windows the command won't work. Kill all Chrome processes first, then it will work. There might be a flag to work around this inconvenience. – John Leidegren Feb 8 '18 at 17:17
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    @JohnLeidegren (at least) as of Chrome for Windows Version 66.0.3359.139 (Official Build) (64-bit), this works without killing any Chrome processes. – naitsirhc May 16 '18 at 18:50
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    Note that you can use --user-data-dir="C:\Users\...\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\User Data to run under your user's Chrome profile. This is useful, for example, for exporting content from a website that requires users to be logged in, since session cookies are available. – naitsirhc May 16 '18 at 18:54
  • @naitsirhc FYI, I've found puppeteer to be a really good alternative to the command line stuff, if you trying to do something more elaborate. It has a nice API to remote chromium to do various tasks, it also manages versions for you. Very nice. – John Leidegren May 17 '18 at 7:39
  • SVGs are rendered incorrectly – Marco Sulla Mar 31 '19 at 13:42

You must be using Google Chrome / Chromium 59 or later version & it’s only available for MAC OS and Linux users.

* Windows users still have to wait for some time till Version 60 *

Command :

$ google-chrome --headless --disable-gpu --print-to-pdf=file1.pdf http://www.example.com/

$ chromium-browser --headless --disable-gpu --print-to-pdf=file1.pdf http://www.example.com/

Reference : https://developers.google.com/web/updates/2017/04/headless-chrome

EDIT : Google Chrome / Chromium 60 has been rolled out for windows users.

Command usage in CMD :

C:\Program Files\Google\Chrome\Application> chrome.exe --headless --disable-gpu --print-to-pdf=file1.pdf http://www.example.com/

Your pdf file naming file1.pdf will be save in

"C:\Program Files or (x86)\Google\Chrome\Application\60.0.3112.113 (chrome-version)\file1.pdf"

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  • --disable-gpu should not be necessary anymore in most recent versions. – e2-e4 Sep 11 '17 at 6:47
  • this creates a MUCH better/consistent output than wkhtmltopdf or weasyprint – ierdna Oct 12 '17 at 14:53

https://github.com/fraserxu/electron-pdf was designed exactly for this purpose.

The CLI looks like this: $ electron-pdf http://fraserxu.me ~/Desktop/fraserxu.pdf

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Successfully did a batch conversion of local html files to PDF -- sharing the approach.

Navigate to a folder containing a batch of html files you want to convert...

for %f in (*.html) do (
start /wait chrome --headless --disable-gpu --print-to-pdf="C:/[DESTINATION FOLDER PATH]%f.pdf" "C:/[SOURCE HTML FILE FOLDER PATH -- ALSO CURRENT FOLDER]%f"

Note -- must use forward slash to avoid negating the %f in the file path.

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