Announcing ‘Princely’ – Rails Prince XML PDF Wrapper

Recently I was implementing PDF generation for a project utilizing the fantastic library Prince XML. I came across a blog article with a basic library and helper set for Prince, which provided a great basis. I wanted to make something a little more generalized and in-keeping the Rails Way, so I have created ‘Princely’, a simple wrapper utilizing much of the code from the SubImage library but giving it better helpers and pluginizing its inclusion.


The first step is to download Prince and install it on your platform of choice (only Linux and Mac OS X supported by the plugin at this time). Next, simply install the plugin:

script/install plugin git://

You are now ready to get started using Princely to generate PDF. Note that Princely is only compatible with Rails >= 2.0


Princely uses the MimeTypes and respond_to blocks from Rails 2.0 to add PDF as a render option and a format. Because of this, it’s incredibly easy to implement a PDF! Simply make your XHTML or XML template and use pdf as the format (e.g. show.pdf.erb), then add code similar to this in your controller:

class Page < ApplicationController   def show     respond_to do |format|       format.html       format.pdf {          render :pdf => @page.pdf_name,                :template => "show.pdf.erb", # not required, shown for example                :layout => false             # not required       }     end   end end

And that’s all there is to it! If you add a .pdf to your properly routed path, you should be presented with a PDF version of the page generated by Prince. The README has more detailed usage information.

As always, there is a Trac available for any bugs or patches you might come across.