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How to authenticate with DocRaptor and make documents

Converting HTML into PDF and XLS documents is fast and painless with DocRaptor. Learn how to authenticate with DocRaptor and make a document below, or check out a code example in your language.

You'll authenticate with your API key, which can be found on your account dashboard. You can use your API key in one of two ways:

  • The username for HTTP Basic Authentication (preferred)
  • The value for the query parameter user_credentials

If you're using our official clients, authentication is included in all examples. If you are writing your own client, per RFC 2617 basic auth credentials need to be base64-encoded.

To make documents, POST to with JSON. Only a few options are required and most have reasonable defaults. Here are the minimum options for making a PDF:

  "type": "pdf",
  "document_content": "<html><body>Hello World!</body></html>"

Some options are nested and are referred to like prince[media] in the documentation. As JSON they should look like this:

  "type": "pdf",
  "document_content": "<html><body>Hello World!</body></html>",
  "prince_options": {
    "media": "screen"

JSON is preferred, but you can also send form encoded variables by wrapping the option with doc[] and adding another [] for sub options.

type becomes doc[type]
prince_options[screen] becomes doc[prince_options][screen]

If successful, the POST call returns a binary string containing your PDF. Save this string as a file on your server or send it directly to the browser for the user to download. Alternatively, instead of a binary string, hosted documents return a public URL while asynchronously generated documents return a status_id used to retrieve the document.

If an error occurs while generating your document, an XML error message will be returned instead of the binary string:

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?>
  <error>Error downloading document content from supplied url.</error>

The HTTP status code returned can be used to determine generation success or failure.

For PDF documents, the X-DocRaptor-Num-Pages response header will contain the number of pages contained in the document.

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