Paper CSS for happy printing

Paper CSS for happy printing

Front-end printing solution - previewable and live-reloadable!

Recently, we say "front-end" every day. Then why don't we make the printing documents in front-end? We believe we can make it perfectly without back-end. Paper CSS is just a small snippet of CSS, but it helps us create them in browser easily.

Table of Contents


Get Paper CSS from cdnjs (recommended):

<link rel="stylesheet" href="">

Or download paper.css file from GitHub manually, or via npm:

$ npm install paper-css

Basic Usage

Load paper-css into <head> like this:

<!-- Load paper.css for happy printing -->
<link rel="stylesheet" href="dist/paper.css">

<!-- Set page size here: A5, A4 or A3 -->
<!-- Set also "landscape" if you need -->
<style>@page { size: A5 }</style>

Set the class of <body> and also set "sheet" for each sheet.

<!-- Set "A5", "A4" or "A3" for class name -->
<!-- Set also "landscape" if you need -->
<body class="A5">

  <!-- Each sheet element should have the class "sheet" -->
  <!-- "padding-**mm" is optional: you can set 10, 15, 20 or 25 -->
  <section class="sheet padding-10mm">

    <!-- Write HTML just like a web page -->
    <article>This is an A5 document.</article>



All available page sizes is listed below:

  • A5, A5 landscape
  • A4, A4 landscape
  • A3, A3 landscape
  • letter, letter landscape
  • legal, legal landscape

See also the examples for detail.

Live Preview

Install live-server:

$ npm install --global live-server

Then, preview your HTML file:

$ live-server your-document.html

Your browser will open the document. And the browser will automatically reload the page when changes are detected.

See more detail and all options here.

PDF Generation

Install electron-pdf:

$ npm install --global electron-pdf

Then, generate a PDF file from your HTML file:

$ electron-pdf your-document.html your-document.pdf

See more details and all options here.

Note: we used to provide a small CLI tool paper-css while v0.2.x, we've dropped it in favor of electron-pdf which is a better option to do the same, basically.

Why Paper CSS?


You can check the design and layout before printing. See the browser like when you build a web page.

This example could be printed like this.


It's just HTML/CSS, so we can edit it with live-reloading. See Live Preview section above.


type expression learning cost editable in-browser multipage
HTML Enough already known No OK ~100 pages *
SVG Enough not so difficult No OK
PDF Perfect difficult No NG no limit **
Excel Not cool sigh Yes NG uncontrollable

* It depends on user's environment. ** Only if you have huge memory on the server.


MIT © Tsutomu Kawamura