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API Spotlight: Convert Web Content to PNG, PDF & Text Formats
3/8/2023 - Brian O'Neill

Uniform Resource Locators (URLs) and HypterText Markup Language (HTML) standardize the way we find and view information on the internet. Thanks to these pivotal technologies, anyone can instantly access web resources by following shareable links, and anyone with an internet browser on their device can easily view content saved in HTML format.

Handing in a document

Converting web content to non-web formats becomes necessary when we’re faced with a few common accessibility challenges. For one example, documents stored in HTML aren’t convenient to edit; those documents must be converted to a plain or rich text format when we want to efficiently make changes to them. For another, web pages don’t always load or display properly; documenting such issues requires quickly storing the present state of that web content in a static file format.

Cloudmersive Web Conversion APIs make it easy and efficient to convert URL and HTML content into a variety of static, interoperable formats. With these APIs in your arsenal, you can rapidly scale your applications’ functionality and directly benefit your users, all while reducing the overhead cost of writing and implementing the code for such features yourself. Below, we’ll highlight a few of our most popular Web Conversion API iterations and discuss their respective use-cases

Convert Web Content to PNG, PDF

Documenting a website’s progress with static images makes a big difference in its long-term success. Since most websites undergo a variety of functional and aesthetic changes throughout their lifespan, storing each iteration of that change tells a story which sets up future web developers for success. Further, given that all websites encounter problems with loading or displaying properly at one point or another, sharing images of those problems allows support teams to solve problems quickly and effectively.

There’s relevant utility for documenting external web content, too. Potentially threatening links shouldn’t be clicked on directly, so automatically rendering and documenting a suspicious URL can help avert a potential security breach.

Automating web documentation with APIs streamlines the efficiency of documentation processes, eliminating the need to manually create and store images (which can vary dramatically in quality and utility to begin with).

Convert URL to PNG & Convert URL to PDF

The URL Screenshot API fully renders a website URL and returns a PNG Screenshot of the full-page image. In your request, you can specify how much extra loading time the service should apply when rendering the website (this is useful for websites with more elements to display), and you can also specify the height and width dimensions of the resulting image.

The URL to PDF API performs the same baseline function as the above, differing in that it generates a PDF from the website’s HTML code. When using this iteration, you can configure a Boolean to include background graphics from the website page and specify the scale factor for the output screenshot

Convert HTML TO PNG & Convert HTML to PDF

The HTML to PNG API presents an alternative screenshot process to the URL iteration, rendering a website from an HTML string and returning a PNG screenshot of the website’s contents. This iteration also supports specifying extra loading weight, screenshot height and screenshot width in your request.

The HTML to PDF API performs the exact same function as the URL to PDF iteration, this time sourcing an HTML string directly from the input request rather than distilling it from a URL string. Extra loading wait, background graphics inclusion and scale factor are also configurable in each request.

Convert HTML to Plain Text

Since HTML is used to format and display text elements, we need to first remove text from HTML code to review and edit it properly. Plain text (TXT) is a lightweight format with universal interoperability, so it makes a lot of sense to target this format when separating text elements from HTML code.
The HTML to Text API will simply strip text content from HTML code and return that text as a single string. You can subsequently save and edit this text in any plain text editor with ease.

Convert HTML to DOCX

While interoperability isn’t the strong suit of a licensed rich text editor like Microsoft Word, built-in editing and multimedia display features still offer ideal editing flexibility for those with access to the application. Additionally, since it’s common to convert DOCX files to HTML so they can be viewed on a browser, automating conversions back to DOCX format at scale saves a lot of manual time and effort.

The HTML to DOCX API accepts an HTML string as input and returns the encoding string for a DOCX file.

For more information on our Web Conversion APIs, please contact a member of our sales team.

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