A hypertext markup language (HTML) to portable document format (PDF) converter is a software program that takes a finished document of HTML code and condenses it into this particular file type. A PDF document can be read across different computer operating system platforms, as well as on portable devices such as electronic readers. While many web designers write and save their HTML code in plain text editors, these documents are often not practical for collaborating with other designers on the same website project. An HTML to PDF converter usually creates a PDF document out of multiple pages of code for easy viewing outside of a web browser.
Using an HTML to PDF converter typically involves loading the finished HTML code into an editing window in the converter program. An HTML to PDF converter can be either a web-based program or a stand-alone program to be installed on a computer's hard drive. Some web designers prefer a web-based converter if they are only making PDF files out of small numbers of HTML files. A stand-alone converter is often more comprehensive and better designed to handle large volumes of HTML files in an efficient time frame.
Designers working on a large website project generally find a stand-alone HTML to PDF converter worth the initial investment. Many of these conversion programs have additional tools such as those for document resizing. This type of feature can be especially helpful when designers need to send finished PDF documents to one another through email.
Loading files into an HTML to PDF converter can be done by copying and pasting the code into the converter's window. Some of these programs may instead require the web designer to upload each HTML document after selecting it from the correct folder on the computer's hard drive. Although most HTML to PDF converters do not require the web designer to validate the code for errors, this extra step can often be helpful in ensuring accurate communication of the written HTML code to other designers.
An HTML to PDF converter can sometimes be free of charge, although some brands of this program require a fee before downloading and installing. Web designers who are new to writing HTML by hand sometimes find the wide variety of available tools a bit overwhelming. Many HTML to PDF converters have a free trial period to allow designers to determine if the software is a good fit for their needs.