What is PDF Newspaper?

News enthusiasts
Create printable versions of web articles and news feeds. PDF Newspaper can produce a 2-column A4/Letter PDF, a single-column A5 PDF, or an editable HTML output with a print stylesheet. Try it with the form above. See screenshots

PDF Newspaper is a free software PHP application for making simple, newspaper-style PDFs from web articles, feeds, and even OPML files. Designed to be run as a web service, but one which you control.




  • We host it
  • ~10 pages per feed
  • 4 full-text fetches per feed
  • Customisable title



per year
  • We host it
  • ~20 pages per feed
  • 10 full-text fetches per feed
  • Customisable title
  • Customisable subheading


PDF Newspaper 2.6

Released 15 July 2019What's new?ChangelogScreenshots

We offer two purchase options. They come with the same license, but if you intend to use PDF Newspaper as part of a commercial project, please purchase the one for business use.


Free updates for 1 year

Buy Now — 40 €

Bundle Offer!

PDF Newspaper plus:

Full-Text RSS
Feed Creator
Term Extraction

Free updates for 2 years!

Buy Bundle — 60 €


Free updates for 1 year

Buy Now — 80 €

Bundle Offer!

PDF Newspaper plus:

Full-Text RSS
Feed Creator
Term Extraction

Free updates for 2 years!

Buy Bundle — 150 €

What you get

PDF Newspaper from FiveFilters.org includes:

  • Easy installation (no database setup required)
  • Installation support
  • Free updates for 1 year (half price after that)
  • Full source code

After paying you will automatically receive an email with a download link to the zip package. The zip package contains a readme file with instructions for uploading the code to your web host via FTP.

More information

Hosted or self-hosted?

We want our users to be free to examine and run the code behind FiveFilters.org however they like. So rather than simply invite you to sign up for API access, we've gone to great effort to make the software easy to use and install on your own hosting account.

Using our hosted service (Free, Premium) is the easiest option as we manage everything. You do not have to worry about staying up to date because we maintain the code and any changes we make will automatically be made available to you.

If, however, you have your own hosting account or manage your own server, the self-hosted option gives you the freedom to run the code and manage things yourself.

Note: We monitor our hosted service to prevent abuse. For developers needing to process very large amounts of data, we highly recommend downloading the self-hosted version.


Note: If you'd like to make heavy use of PDF Newspaper programmatically, we highly recommend you download and run our self-hosted version. We may disable or restrict certain API functions in our hosted service to make sure our servers run smoothly.

To create a PDF from a web page or a feed, pass the URL (encoded) in the querystring to the following URL:

  • https://pdf.fivefilters.org/makepdf.php?url=[url]

All the parameters in the form above can be passed in this way (examine the URL in your address bar after you click the 'Create' button above).

Request Parameters

Using the form above is the easiest way to get started. But if you want to call PDF Newspaper programmatically, the following request parameters can be used in a HTTP GET request to makepdf.php:

Parameter Value Description
url string URL of a feed or a single web article.
mode multi-story (default), single-story
Use for feeds. You can customise the newspaper title.
Use to process a single article (even with feeds). Produces a more compact layout, omitting newspaper title.
template A4 (default), Letter, A5 Sets PDF paper size. The A4 and Letter templates produce a larger, two-column PDF. The A5 template produces a smaller, single-column PDF.
output pdf (default), pdf-download, html
Your browser decides what to do with the generated PDF - either it will load the PDF within the browser, download it, or prompt you to choose an action.
Tells the browser that you want to download the PDF rather than view it inside the browser. It will either download automatically or prompt you to choose an action.
Outputs the generated HTML without producing a PDF. Produces a result faster than the pdf options, but uses a print stylesheet to achieve a somewhat similar result when you print. Note: the template parameter currently has no effect with HTML output - if printing, you will set the paper size in the print dialog that appears. For best results printing or creating a PDF from this view, please use Firefox.
dir auto (default), ltr, rtl Sets text direction: auto = browser decides, ltr = left-to-right, rtl = right-to-left. This parameter currently only works for HTML output.
images 1 or 0 (default) Include images. Pass 1 to enable.
date 1 or 0 (default) Include date and time for each article (if available). Pass to 1 to enable.
sub string This can be a tagline, slogan, or the main title if using single story mode. If omitted, the default one set in the config file will be used.

Multi-story parameters — These parameters only apply when multi-story mode is enabled (see mode parameter above).

Parameter Value Description
title string Newspaper title. If you'd like to use the default title image instead, delete the title.
order desc (default) or asc Determines how stories will be ordered by date. Pass asc for chronological ordering (oldest story in the feed appears first). Pass desc to have the latest stories shown first.
date_start string If the feed contains dates for feed items, you can restrict items returned by specifying a start date. Any items with a publish date earlier than date_start will be omitted from the output.
date formats
You can pass an absolute date using the YYYY-MM-DD format, e.g. 2014-01-24 or a relative one, e.g. last week or yesterday.
date_end string If the feed contains dates for feed items, you can restrict items returned by specifying an end date. Any items with a publish date later than date_end will be omitted from the output. See note above about using relative and absolute dates.

Full-Text RSS integration — When you give PDF Newspaper a URL to a web article, Full-Text RSS is automatically used to extract its content. For a partial feed, you will have to tell PDF Newspaper if you'd like it passed to Full-Text RSS for full content. (Full-Text RSS integration can be configured or disabled within the config file.)

Parameter Value Description
fulltext 1 or 0 (default) Use for partial feeds. Runs feed through Full-Text RSS before processing result. Pass 1 to enable.
use_extracted_title 1 or 0 (default) Normally feed titles take precedance over extracted titles. Pass 1 to tell Full-Text RSS to replace feed titles with those it extracts. (Requires Full-Text RSS version 3.2 or greater. Has no effect without fulltext parameter.)

API keys — If you want to restrict access to PDF Newspaper you can specify API keys in the config file. URLs produced by PDF Newspaper can be used publically, e.g. linked from a website, so the API key should not appear in the final URL.

Parameter Value Description
api_key string A key that you've entered in the config. If you're calling PDF Newspaper programattically, it's better to use the key and hash parameters (see below) to hide the actual key in the HTTP request. If this parameter is used, PDF Newspaper will produce the key and hash values automatically and redirect to a new URL to hide the API key. If you'd like to link to a PDF publically while protecting your API key, make sure you copy and paste the URL that results after the redirect. If you've configured PDF Newspaper to require a key, an invalid key will result in an error message.
key integer This should be the index number which identifies an API key without revealing it. It must be passed along with the hash parameters. See the config file.
hash string A SHA-1 hash value of the API key (actual key, not index number) and requested URL, concatenated. It must be passed along with the key parameter. In PHP, for exmaple: $hash = sha1($api_key.$url);

Required parameters: url must be supplied.

System requirements

PHP 5.2 or above is required. The code has been tested on local, shared hosting and cloud environments. We recommend you download and run our simple compatibility test before purchasing. It's a single (zipped) PHP file you can upload to your server and access through your browser. It will tell you whether your server is capable of running PDF Newspaper.

PDF Newspaper has been tested on Windows and Linux using the Apache web server.

Software Components

PDF Newspaper is written in PHP and relies on the following primary components:

Depending on your configuration and submitted URL, these secondary components may also be used:


AGPL logo
This web application is licensed under the AGPL version 3. (More on why this is important.)

The software components in this application are licensed as follows...




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