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is there a best practice to create e new custom e.g. invoice PDF?

I need a separate custom PDF with my own layout and tables.
And here is my problem: I had never created a PDF in Magento before so there are many questions where and how to start with this.

The only thing I have is a new module with models and a collection.

Do I need phtml files for my template or does it belong into a model with Zend_Pdf?

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I encourage anyone looking to customize their PDF printouts to check out the Comwrap_Pdf module. It takes a different approach to rendering PDFs in that they are created using regular HTML and CSS (in a Magento phtml template), then a PDF is created from that HTML using the MPDF library.

Building PDFs this way is much simpler than having to worry about re-flows, wrapping text, and coordinate-based rendering like Zend_PDF.

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We implemented FireGento_Pdf. It helps a lot to implement your own Engine to make the pdf as you want it. Have a look on it:

https://github.com/firegento/firegento-pdf

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  • Looks nice but there are some dependecies as I can see. Would be nice not to install a bunch of packages. And how have you created your own templates? I guess that Firegento uses also a rigid template. Do I have to customize that or is there a way to draw my own structure and say Firegento / Magento to use this templatestructure? – Timo.Klement May 5 '15 at 14:12
  • No templates, you can only use your own engine as described here: github.com/firegento/firegento-pdf/wiki/… If you want really cool templates and stuff, you should search for html/css to pdf renderer, I heard lots of cool things about it, but unfortunately I have no reference. – Fabian Blechschmidt May 5 '15 at 14:45

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