To showcase the formatting magic that Prince can do, we have created one document packed with effects. The HTML document, which is contained in a 13k file, is packed with features: bi-directional text, OpenType features, CSS3 footnotes, web fonts (including WOFF), and CSS3 page floats. You can download the PDF document or the HTML source. To produce the same PDF document from on your own computer, you should have the Arno Pro font installed.
Henrik Ibsen’s collected poems were first printed in 1871. The first edition was, as were most books at the time, set in lead by skilled printers. In 2010, I recreated the first edition in HTML and CSS. The «Steinschrift» and «Elzevir» fonts that were used by the printers in 1871 have not been transferred to the digital domain, but lookalikes were found. The resulting PDF file was printed in 100 copies and bound the old-fashioned way.
Using Prince, web content can easily be recast into PDF. To show how this can be done, we have recreated a PDF newspaper from The Guardian. The text and images were extracted from the original PDF file and the content was encoded in HTML. Using Prince, a new PDF file was created. (Original PDF, HTML, Prince-generated PDF)
Using the boom! microformat, it’s easy to create books from HTML. Mark Burgess wrote his novel, called Slogans, in LaTeX. We converted it to HTML and added a few class names from the boom! vocabulary. Also, the boom! style sheet was modified in a few places to create the kind of presentation the author wanted. Notice how the content of the back cover is shown first in the HTML version. We encourage you to read the novel and let the author know if you like it. (HTML, boom! style sheet, Prince-generated PDF)
In 2005, Addison-Wesley published a book that was formatted by Prince. Cascading Style Sheets – Designing for the web by Håkon Wium Lie and Bert Bos describes the power of CSS. To prove how powerful it can be, the authors decided to use CSS in the production process. They later described their approach in an article on A list apart: Printing a Book with CSS: Boom!. Prince is currently the only product which is able to produce print-quality PDF files from HTML and CSS files. (HTML, CSS, PDF)
Product catalogs are complex publications where errors can be fatal. Increasingly, they are offered both on the web and in print. By producing both versions from the same set of files, errors can be minimized. We have created a ficticious product catalog for fine flags that show how a PDF product catalog can be produced from a simple HTML file (PDF, HTML with CSS). The flags themselves are SVG files fetched from Wikipedia. Notice how the table is run into two columns. The table header and footer is repeated in both columns. The headers and footers reflect information (product codes and country names) from the pages. The background of the front page is one SVG image that is automatically repeated.