How to Generate PDF file in CakePHP?

How to Generate PDF file in CakePHP?

2 Minutes Read

psd-to-htmlTCPDF is a free and open source software one of the widely used PHP libraries in the world. This is because of the fact that it already included in the most popular PHP-based CMS and applications including Cakephp.

The installation is pretty straight forward and easy-to-use in Cakephp Framework. Many web applications use this as output documents like invoices, contracts or just web pages in the PDF format.

Following are the steps to integrate TCPDF in Cakephp MVC framework.

Step 1:

  • Go to and download the latest version of TCPDF zip file.
  • Then unzip the zip file and save under the Vendor folder in cakephp framework(app\vendors)
  • This creates a directory tcpdf there with tcpdf.php and more in it (app\vendors\tcpdf)
  •  You can configure the PDF file Like header Logo Image, Page Title, page Margin etc. in the TCPDF configure file (app->vendors->tcpdf-> tcpdf_config.php)

Step 2:

You can create your own header and footer page of your PDF file. Create a page “xtcpdf.php” under app/vendors with these contents as shown below.

class XTCPDF extends TCPDF
var $xheadertext = 'PDF created using CakePHP and TCPDF';
var $xheadercolor = array(0,0,200);
var $xfootertext = 'Copyright © %d XXXXXXXXXXX. All rights reserved.';
var $xfooterfont = PDF_FONT_NAME_MAIN ;
var $xfooterfontsize = 8 ;
/* Change header text and font size as per your requirement in the above variable*******/
function Header()
list($r, $b, $g) = $this->xheadercolor;
$this->setY(10); // shouldn't be needed due to page margin, but helas, otherwise it's at the page top
$this->SetFillColor($r, $b, $g);
$this->SetTextColor(0 , 0, 0);
$this->Cell(0,20, '', 0,1,'C', 1);
$this->Text(15,26,$this->xheadertext );
function Footer()
$year = date('Y');
$footertext = sprintf($this->xfootertext, $year);
$this->SetTextColor(0, 0, 0);
$this->Cell(0,8, $footertext,'T',1,'C');

Step 3:

Create your layout under app/views/layouts/pdf.ctp;

header("Content-type: application/pdf");
echo $content_for_layout;

Step 4:

Here is the Controller code which will display output code of generating PDF file;

function view_pdf($id = null) {
if (!$id) {
$this->Session->setFlash('Sorry, there was no PDF selected.');
$this->redirect(array('action'=>'index'), null, true);
$this->layout = 'pdf'; //this will use the pdf.ctp layout

Step 5:

Create a page under your view directory (app/views/) named as “view_pdf.ctp” (this name can be change as per your controller method) and write your HTML code/PHP code.

Priyadarshini M. Mohapatra
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