Comparison with other solutions

An overview of the merits and disadvantages of various PDF conversion technologies

The high-quality PDF production offered by Produce & Publish is based on the PrinceXML converter.  There are several other approaches to PDF creation in the market.  See below for the advantages and disadvantages of these solutions.

Technology Converter Advantages & Disadvantages
  • Poor to good results (depending on converter used)
  • Results can vary depending on XSL-FO processor
  • No simple and direct way to convert HTML as an input format into XSL-FO
  • XSL-FO is not an easy language
  • No style input possible with CSS3
  • Depending on XSL-FO processor, in some cases considerable difficulties with tables
  • Not well suited for web-to-print applications, in which the absolute positioning of elements is a essential requirement
  • Price range is from free (FOP) to very expensive
TeX/LaTeX diverse TeX implementations
  • Very good automatic typesetting
  • Very good hyphenation
  • Very good support for tables
  • No easy and direct way to use XML/HTML as input format
  • Not suitable for graphics-intensive documents
  • No support for absolute positioning and therefore not suitable for web-to-print applications
  • Limited support for Unicode
  • TeX implementations are generally free
Adobe Technology Adobe Indesign (Server)
  • Expensive to very expensive (costs for licence and support)
  • Involves reliance on a manufacturer
PDF Libraries
  • PDFLib
  • Reportlab
  • FPDF
  • and many others
  • Low-level PDF libraries enable full control of PDF creation
  • Too low-level and time-consuming to generate PDF templates
  • Good choice for complex layouts within which the user requires complete control over every PDF element
  • Generally, typographical quality is only average
  • Price range is from free to very expensive
Other open-source PDF converters  htmldoc
  • Fast PDF conversion
  • Poor PDF quality
  • Poor typographical quality
  • Minimal scope for individual input
  • Free


Wir are using Plone in our school e.g. for the generation of school reports and protocols of class conference and have been searching for reliable solution for generating forms and reports. The product SmartPrintNG (now "Produce & Publish") is very suitable for our purposes due its flexiable configuration options. Andreas Jung gave a hands-on-training and communicate the relevant know-how in order to work effectively with SmartPrintNG (even for non-technical people like teachers).

Alois Mayr
Albrecht-Ernst-Gynmasium, Oettingen in Bayern