Pdflayer vs Api2pdf: Which is Best?

Due to the wide variety of PDF APIs on the market today, choosing the right one for your project can be overwhelming. This is especially true given they may differ in the data types they support, programming language integrations possible, and the features they offer among other factors. In the end, the API you choose depends on your basic needs and resources. 

To make your selection process easier, we compare 2 similar PDF APIs: pdflayer and Api2pdf. Both convert URL/HTML to PDF. But how do they differ, and which is best? Keep reading to find out. 

PDFLAYER

According to its documentation, pdflayer is a REST API built to allow for the easy and seamless automation of HTML and URL to PDF conversion using POST and GET requests. It combines the most powerful PDF rendering engines available. For this reason, it is an excellent option for anyone looking to process small or large numbers of documents in short time frames. 

In addition, the pdflayer API allows users full PDF customization. From adding a custom document name, background color, fonts to basically anything you can do on a web page. Finally, it is compatible with any programming language.

API2PDF

Api2pdf is a REST API built for the easy conversion of HTML, URLs, Microsoft Office Documents (Word, Excel, Powerpoint), and images to PDF. Running on the efficient AWS Lambda, this API can seamlessly process millions of requests. In addition, this API allows you to merge multiple PDF files. 

You can also process PDF conversions with wkhtmltopdf, Headless Chrome, and Libre Office. Lastly, since it a REST API, it is compatible with any programming language. However, they currently only offer client libraries to generate PDFs in Python, PHP, and C#. 

Features

Api2pdf

PDF Generation

Api2pdf permits the conversion of HTML and URLs using two open-source PDF engines: Headless Chrome and wkhtmltopdf. Depending on your project needs, one endpoint may render better than the other. On that note, Api2pdf recommends that you test each to see which best suits your needs. 

Documents and Images Conversion

Api2pdf allows the conversion of Word, Excel, Powerpoint, Publisher, and Images (JPEG, PNG, GIF, and BMP), to PDF using LibreOffice.

PDF Customization

For HTML to PDF conversion, Api2pdf allows you to append HTML, CSS, and Javascript to your POST request. In addition, both engines: Headless Chrome and wkhtmltopdf, have advanced options for further customization. Some of these options include margins, page, and layout. 

Merge Multiple PDFs

This API allows you to combine multiple PDFs into a single file.

Barcode Generation

Api2Pdf allows you to generate barcodes using ZXING (zebra crossing) via a get request.

Api2pdf features

4 star rating

PdfLayer

PDF Generation

Like Api2pdf, pdflayer allows the conversion of URL and HTML (no size limit) to PDF using two powerful engines (not publicized). 

PDF Customization

Again, like Api2pdf, pdflayer allows you to append other languages in your post request for HTML to PDF conversion. However, in this case, you can include whatever works in a browser. For example, HTML, CSS, JS, XML, SVG, amongst others. Plus, pdflayer offers more customization features via the following parameters: Delay, DPI resolution, zoom factor, page numbering, watermark, etc.

See the pdflayer Docs for more details on these parameters.

CDN Storage

Pdflayer stores documents using a “lightning-fast” CDN.

Extended Usage Statistics

This API provides you the option of tracking your API usage on a daily or monthly basis and automatically notifies you if you are running low.

Pdflayer features

5 star rating

Feature Comparison

Here’s a table comparing the features of these two APIs.

Features Pdflayer Api2pdf
PDF conversion Yes Yes
PDF engine Yes Yes
Powerful CDN Yes No
Interactive documentation Yes No
World-class tech support Yes No (not stated)
Extended usage statistics Yes No
Rate limits Yes (subscription based) No
PDF customization Yes Yes
Watermarking Yes No
Merge PDFs No Yes
Encryption Yes No
Barcodes No Yes
Fig: Feature comparison table

Documentation

Pdflayer

Pdflayer hosts its documentation on its website, allowing for a detailed and interactive setup. You can try out each API feature as you go through its documentation. Also, a world-class technical support team is on hand to tackle any technical issue you may encounter.

5 star rating

Api2pdf

Api2pdf has live documentation on its SwaggerHub account with links to its client libraries for Python, .NET, Nodejs, PHP, and Java. 

4 star rating

Ease of Use

Pdflayer

Pdflayer is definitely the quickest and easiest way to convert HTML and URLs to PDF. It has thorough documentation and also provisions for you to test each parameter as you read through. In addition, pdflayer offers world-class technical support. We’re with you every step of the way. 

5 star rating

Api2pdf

Api2pdf has a quick “try it out” section on its homepage, its documentation is not detailed. 

3 star rating

Pricing

Api2pdf

Api2pdf runs a pay-as-you-go plan that starts at $.001 per Mb bandwidth and $0.00019551 per second of computation.

According to Api2pdf’s monthly cost estimator:

1,000 at 5MB each would be $6.39 a month.

10,000 at 5MB each would be $54.91 a month.

100,000 at 5MB each would be $540.10 a month.

4 star rating

Pdflayer

Pdflayer is priced in four tiers, with different options available for each tier. 

Free Plan

Includes 100 API requests, plus all other features bar 256-bit HTTPS encryption. 

Basic Plan

$9.99/month

Includes 1000 API requests, plus all other features.

Professional Plan

$39.99/month

Includes 10000 API requests, plus all other features

Enterprise Plan

$119.99/month

Includes 100000 API requests, plus all other features.

5 star rating

Which PDF generation API is the Best?

Both are excellent PDF generation tools. Which one you choose depends on your product needs and resources. That said, we think you will find that pdflayer takes it to the next level and is significantly cheaper at higher volumes. 

If you’re looking for a product with easy to integrate GET and POST URL structure, that stores documents on a lightning-fast CDN, offers maximum customization freedom, with interactive documentation, and world-class technical support, then pdflayer is the overall better option.

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