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Document: Styles

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PDF style directives

The PDF rendering of the document component supports a list of style directives to customize the output. Most style directives are equivalent to the CSS directives used for HTML and XML, but there are some additional directives and not all CSS directives are supported.

The selectors, which can be used are documented in the tutorial. Currently all values are required to be escaped inside quotes ("). The full grammar looks like:

File       ::= Directive+
Directive  ::= Address '{' Formatting* '}'
Formatting ::= Name ':' '"' Value '"' ';'
Name       ::= [A-Za-z-]+
Value      ::= [^"]+

Address     ::= Element ( Rule )*
Rule        ::= '>'? Element
Element     ::= ElementName ( '.' ClassName | '#' ElementId )

ClassName   ::= [A-Za-z_-]+
ElementName ::= XMLName | '*'
ElementId   ::= XMLName

XMLName references to

All values, given as "measure" accept different units, but always default to millimeters (mm). Possible units are:

  • "mm", Millimeters, the default measure, if none is specified
  • "pt", Points, 72 points per inch
  • "px", Pixel, depends on the set resolution, by default also 72 points per inch
  • "in", Inch

The unit "Points" is most common for font sizes, while millimeters or inches will probably more useful for page margins and paddings. You are free to choose any of them and can even combine different units in one tuple, like:

para {
    // Top margin: 12 mm; Right margin: .1 inch; Bottom margin: 10 points,
    // Left margin: 1 pixel
    margin: "12 .1in 10pt 1px";

Font style

font-size: <measure>

Defines the font size of the text. Most common unit is points, so it can be used like:

para {
    font-size: "12pt";

font-family: <name>

Defines the font used to render the text. Currently only the default PDF fonts are supported, which are:

  • serif
  • sans-serif
  • monospace
  • Symbol
  • ZapfDingbats

The option can be used like:

para {
    font-family: "sans-serif";

font-weight: <weight>

The font weight defines whether a font is printed bold or normal. Unlike CSS for now only two possible values are supported: bold and normal. Some drivers might support additional values, though. Usage:

emphasis {
    font-weight: "bold";

font-style: <style>

The font style property defines the style of the printed text. The possible values are normal and italic. Usage:

emphasis {
    font-style: "italic";

Text style

text-align: <align>

The text alignment defines the alignment of text inside a text block. The supported values are:

  • left
  • right
  • center
  • justified

It can be used like:

para {
    text-align: "justified";

If you are using justified text alignment you should also configure a meaningful hyphenator.

line-height: <float>

The line height configures the space between two lines in the rendered output. A line height of 1.4 is generally considered most readable. You can configure a different line height, like:

para {
    line-height: "1.2";

Text rendering

text-columns: <int>

Number of text columns printed on one page. Obviously not available in common CSS. Usage:

article {
    text-columns: "2";

text-column-spacing: <measure>

Spacing between text columns, defined as a common measure. Usage:

article {
    text-column-spacing: "10mm";

orphans: <int>

Orphans are the dangling lines at the end of a page. This settings configures how many dangling lines are considered orphans and therefore moved to the next page. Set to 0 for no line moving. Usage:

article {
    orphans: "3";

widows: <int>

Widows are the dangling lines at the beginning of a page from a paragraph of the page before. This setting configures how many lines a page should at least contain, so that the lines are not considered widows any more and no additional lines are required to be shifted from the page before. Usage:

article {
    widows: "3";

Page style

page-size: <size>

Defines the size of pages. Uses a number of common page size identifiers as valid values for size definitions, which are: A0, A1, A2, A3, A4, A5, A6, A7, A8, A9, A10, B0, B1, B2, B3, B4, B5, B6, B7, B8, B9, B10, C0, C1, C2, C3, C4, C5, C6, C7, C8, C9, C10, RA0, RA1, RA2, RA3, RA4, SRA0, SRA1, SRA2, SRA3, SRA4, LETTER, LEGAL, EXECUTIVE, FOLIO. This setting applies only to the virtual page element, like:

page {
    page-size: "A4";

page-orientation: <orientation>

Defines the orientation of a page. There are only two valid values for this setting: landscape and portrait. This setting applies only to the virtual page element, like:

page {
    page-orientation: "portrait";

Block level styles

There are some style options, which apply to all block level elements, like paragraphs, titles, pages, images, etc.

margin: <measure> [<measure> [<measure> [<measure> ]]]

Margin defines the outer space of some element. Like in CSS the number of values defines the meaning of the values. The meanings are:

1 value
Used for top, right, bottom and left margin.
2 values
First value is used for top and bottom margin, second is used for left and right margin.
3 values
First value is used for top margin, second is used for left and right margin, the third is used for bottom margin.
4 values
First value defines the top, second the right, third the bottom, and fourth the left margin.

Different units may be combined, like:

para {
    // Top margin: 12 mm; Right margin: .1 inch; Bottom margin: 10 points,
    // Left margin: 1 pixel
    margin: "12 .1in 10pt 1px";

padding: <measure> [<measure> [<measure> [<measure> ]]]

Padding defines additional inner space inside of the borders of an element. The values are defined just like for margins. Usage:

para {
    padding: "12 1px";
Last updated: Mon, 21 Dec 2009