Known Bugs

-- Download Known Bugs as PDF --

(The word “post” implies both posts and pages.)

  • Sometimes the creation tool locks up on large builds with images
    Sometimes when you build a PDF in the Creation Tool and have lots of posts with lots of extra options like images, other plugin shortcodes or TOC selected, the build will simply lock up and never complete. First, wait 30 seconds for every post you have included. If it still has not completed, you probably have a timeout and the build has failed. This may have to do with server configuration which is out of my control. It may also be some error. You can try un-checking some of the options to simplify the build or get around whatever error is causing it.
  • Special Characters in Post Slugs
    On individual post PDFs, when a post has a special character in its slug, and you have selected “Use post slug for PDF filename instead of ID”, sometimes the system doesn’t translate the character properly and you can’t link to the final PDF. The easiest solution is to turn the option off in the settings panel, but if you are set on having post-slug based PDF filenames, you could change the post slug (nowadays WordPress automatically redirects readers when a slug changes) to not include the offending character, or turn off PDF creation for just that post, then add a link to a PDF created through the tool page.
  • Blank page on Settings and Tool Pages
    If your PHP backend is not horribly out of date this shouldn’t be a problem. (Please leave a comment if you figure out what the minimum version of PHP is for this plugin.) For a few systems, the settings and tool pages just don’t show up (or so a couple people have reported). I believe this is due to some kind of lack of support for XML within the PHP installation. If you can edit the source files, go into kalins-pdf-creation-station.php and go to the function kalins_pdf_contextual_help, around line 333. Comment out the contents and make it return an empty string. This will kill your help menu, but should make the plugin usable.
  • Image Shortcode Issue
    There is an issue when you have images with a caption in your post. Since the caption is essentially a shortcode, select ‘run other plugin shortcodes’ and it should start exporting your images. (I’m not sure if this is still a problem or not. Feel free to leave a comment if you have experience with this.)
  • Unexplained page breaks
    Every once in a while a post seems to have some content that causes the PDF to have an unexpected page break in the middle of the post. Not sure what’s causing that, but fortunately it seems rare. (This may have been solved with newer versions of TCPDF. Feel free to leave a comment if you still see this issue.)
  • Problems when wp_config.php is in non-standard location
    The creation script will throw an error if your wp_config.php is in a non-standard location. I have a simple solution that involves changing one line of code. Read my blog post: creation-station-non-standard-location to find out how to fix this.
  • Single Quotes Don’t Work in HTML Attributes
    Single quotes in HTML attributes (e.g. font size=’12’) will not work. You must use double quotes instead (e.g. font size=”12″). This doesn’t reduce what you can do with this plugin but will most likely frustrate someone who isn’t aware of the issue.
  • Image Rendering Issues
    Images generally not retain their proper orientation, since TCPDF’s CSS support is very limited so text will not wrap around images in the same way they do in the post. WordPress caption tags for images will be removed so that you don’t see a bunch of code in your PDF, but the images will be placed on their own line in the document and the caption text itself will not be displayed.
  • Crappy Error Checking
    Something is wrong with my Try-Catch statements in the PDF creation script. The errors are simply thrown, so if someone inputs some invalid field data, or something else goes wrong, they will receive an ugly, nonsensical PHP warning, even though I have script that is supposed to catch those errors and display something more understandable. This shouldn’t be a problem for the most part, but may be noticeable if someone has some corrupt images or tries putting letters instead of numbers into the font size field or otherwise tries to send invalid data to the PDF creation script.
  • No Internationalization
    I need to set up the whole translation system so that this plugin will appear in other languages. It appears to be a complicated and tedious process, especially with something like Kalin’s PDF Creation Station that has a large quantity of static text in the admin panels.
  • No Security or Special Handling for Private Posts
    If a post is set to private, PDF Creation Station will still generate a link if you set it to do so. If a person knows the folder structure, they could theoretically access the PDF of that private post. To prevent this, you would need to go into the post’s edit page and disable PDF generation for it. Private posts are also still available in the Tool page.

75 thoughts on “Known Bugs”

  1. I am very satisfied with your fantastic plugin. The only thing is that I can’t select just one category. Some of my posts have more than one category e.g. ‘Accounting’ and ‘Real Estate’. Now it’s not possible to select only posts with ‘Accounting’. If you give me a hint where I can change this in the source code I would be more than happy.

  2. Hey,

    this is a genius plugin, afaik the best of its kind. Unfortunately emoticons are displayed as question marks. Maybe better don’t display them at all?
    Also initials (= special designed letters spanning over more than one lines) are not displayed.
    Maybe you will find a fix? Would be really great.

    1. Thanks a bunch. I never thought of emoticons and have no idea how they work in wordpress. I haven’t worked on this plugin in years unfortunately. I did make a couple posts a while back on how to change fonts but I’m not sure if that would do anything for emoticons.

  3. Hey,

    I have a website in Bengali Language. I tried to make an pdf ebook with your plugin with those Bengali posts. But the font is not supporting. In the pdf file, I can see all like questions marks”??????????????????????????”

    Please make your plugin Bengali language supported. It will be very helpful for me.


  4. Your plugin is fantastic — but one serious problem.

    Once I have downloaded a PDF of a post with comments, all subsequent downloads of the same post do not add any comments created after the first download. Need a resolution so that anytime a PDF download is made, all comments are included.

  5. I tried a dozen of plugins for generating pdf from pages. Yours is the best because – in particular – of numerous possibilites for customization.
    But I have a great problem : I am unable to get special characters, not from a foreign language, but some characters directly typed in WordPress edit window (omega button).
    – Some are OK like “micro sign” , “copyright sign”, “plus-minus sign”.
    – Others are rendered with a question mark (?) like “greater than or equal”, greek letters, square root, infinity etc.
    I tried downloading full tcpdf and using dejavusans font, but it did not changed anythink for these characters.
    Any idea ?

  6. My problem is a CharacterEntity which shows up correctly in the post but is printed as text ▴ or as questionmark (▴ or ▴ ). The source code of the post is: “[a h r e f=”#identifier_40_181″ class=”footnote-link footnote-back-link”]▴[/a]”

    I’m not sure if my question is already answered, but I would appreciate every support.

  7. Hi Kalin, great Plugin.

    I am having a problem creating a PDF with images (they have captions), I have checked the option to ‘Run other plugin shortcodes,’

    I am running most up to date versions of WP and your plugin.

    Any ideas?



  8. Emmm… Can you add an cyrillic support please?
    For example, you can create post with title “Привет мир”, export it in PDF – and you will see that, first of all the link goes to 404 page when you press “download”, and second, if you will open PDF file that are stores in “uploads” folder – it will replace letters “Привет мир” into this symbols “????? ???”.
    Thanks, hope you understand what I mean. Sorry for sh**ty english language, I’m from Ukraine 🙂

  9. Hi Kalin
    Thanks for this great plugin!.. It’s awesome!

    But, I have just one and really big ploblem is that Image is not displayed my page..

    All of checked Include Images, Run other plugin shortcodes, and content filters

    I just upload media file and featured image in my post type
    This is result..

    Media file
    html –
    pdf – nothing but have space

    [post_thumb size=”full” extract=”none”]
    html –
    pdf – nothing

    tag result is
    html –
    pdf – nothing

    but all of the other functions are Ok …. short code, add pages, top and footer area rendering and etc..
    Do you have an suggestion Kalin?..

    My wordpress is version is 4.1 and PDFCreation version is 4.2.3


  10. Hello, I loaded this plugin for the first and I am having an issue. I uploaded a PDF file into my content area and it displayed as a link. However, it show towards the bottom as an attachment which I want to delete from there and move to the top but it won’t let me. Can you please help me in solving this, thank you..

    In the web link, you will see it as an attachment

    1. On the settings page there are three big green toggle buttons in the middle of the main settings section. Just select the “Link at top of page” button. You can also override this for each individual page or post on its edit page. I hope, however, that you aren’t confused by the plugin’s functionality, because it doesn’t give you any option to upload a file to your content area. It generates the files automatically from the post content.

  11. Hello,
    I noticed what looks like a security breach: if I add the “generate PDF link” at top of page and click, I get the content of the page in a PDF EVEN IFthe page is protected by a password. Probably I missed something.
    With best regards,

    1. Yes, this is correct and this issue is listed above as the last item. You can turn PDF generation off for individual pages or posts on their edit page.

  12. Hi Kalin,
    Thanks for update 4.1. As you promised , it is working fine now .
    I have found a solution for your quote in a previous mail ” However, the files don’t look quite right. It seems like a post is being inserted before the table of contents”. It happens if we dont insert any code for title page .By inserting any code for tital page , it doesn’t happen again.
    Thanks Again and Best wishes.
    Govind Soni

    1. Ah yes, it looks like I hardcoded the table of contents page to page 2, so it doesn’t work right with title pages that are shorter or longer than 1 page. I’ll have a fix for that coming in the next release.

  13. Hi Kalin,

    i had a small problem with the youtube replacing regex. On my WordPress the iframe src is set in single quotes, so your regex wont fit. Replacing \” with [\’\”] should do the trick for single and double quotes. The complete line should than look like that:
    $content = preg_replace(‘#<iframe(.*)*)[\'\"](.*)#’, ‘YouTube Video‘, $content);

    Anyway, great plugin.


  14. Hey Kalin,

    I think there might be a little misstake with parsing different shortcodes which implement an link with php parameter in it.

    It accepts the link but just adds an


    to the href. It would be great if someone could confirm this problem because it is driving me nuts. 🙂

    Kalin: Do you have an suggestion where I could start debugging?


  15. Kalin – Awesome plugin! The only issue I’m having is when I select the option to automatically update the PDF when a page is updated doesn’t seem to be working. Do you know of a fix for this? Thanks!

  16. Hi kalin!!
    great plugin…

    i have a problem and a question:

    the problem; in some pages the pdf generated is a blank page only with the header title and footer with the number of pages… is it a known bug?

    the question; is it possible to customize the pdf generated with custom css??

    kind regards.

  17. Hi,
    everything is fine, just one thing that is annoying: the font that appears in the PDF is missing from some internationar characthers ( i am working lithuanian language posts), so the pdf text gets a lot of ?? like “Apie M?s? Produktus”.
    Could you change the font to an international one with characters in all languages?

  18. well, I don’t have any of the things you mention as being a problem with the server setup. My pdf’s all get created but it is arbitrary (seeming) when content will and will not be shown in the document.

    I have some pages where the images are displayed and no text.

    I have some where an image is shown, then some text is shown until one of the images after that which is the end of the document.

    Some tag or html is stopping the render and I cannot figure out what it is. No errors in the page are present and the site validates.

    1. Well that’s hard to say. It sounds like you have some issues with the html in your page. The engine I use (TCPDF) is a little finicky about html, unfortunately and it seems to have troubles with image alignments. Does it help if you turn images off? If you want to contact me directly I can reply and you can send me some of the content that is not working and I should hopefully have some time to look into it in the next week or so.

  19. Perdón, no sé inglés.

    Tras varios meses de uso sin problemas, un dia mi Kalin PDF dejó de crear el archivo .pdf….lo he reintalado varias veces sin resultado.
    Tengo la ultima version de WordPress….

  20. Hello,
    I’m not sure if this plugin is still maintained.. but I’d love to get it working.
    Problem is, Apache is running as CGI module on my shared hosting. As a result it has a different user (and group) ID.
    Result is that when I open the Creation Station, it throws these errors:

    Warning: mkdir() [function.mkdir]: Permission denied in /home/deb43451/domains/ on line 952

    Warning: mkdir() [function.mkdir]: No such file or directory in /home/deb43451/domains/ on line 956

    Warning: opendir(/kalins-pdf/) [function.opendir]: failed to open dir: No such file or directory in /home/deb43451/domains/ on line 61

    I already tried chmodding the folders to 777 and adding the “kalins-pdf” directory myself, but still same error messages.
    Any way to solve this stuff (I don’t have access to the Apache install..)?

    Thanks in advance…

    1. OK found it 🙂
      Looks like the only thing I had to do was to create the WP upload dir myself, and set rights to 777. I did have to go through your code to get to that conclusion though.. But created my first test PDF and looking good 😀
      Now just see if I can get it to work with qTranslate, to make 3 different language versions of the portfolio site..?

      1. How do manage to get it working with qTranslate?
        For me, it generate PDF only from the default language.

      2. Do you have “Run other plugin shortcodes”, and “and content filters” checked? I’m not familiar with qtranslate but if it’s a plugin that alters the post content, it should theoretically work if you have these checked. If you’re looking for something that can dynamically build PDF’s based on the viewer’s selected language, that may be a bit more difficult.

  21. Hi… I’m trying to create a PDF option for 1 page only (to let students print a continuing education certificate after they complete a training). Here’s my question:

    I have 2 images on the page and can’t get them to stay centered on the PDF as they are on the originating page (they keep left-aligning on the PDF). Any suggestions?


    1. Yeah, I think it is possible to use CSS in this, though I haven’t actually tested it. Whatever the TCPDF engine supports should theoretically work here, though I’m not sure how much CSS they support or how well it’ll work for images and I believe it only works for inline CSS.

  22. I started using the Creation Station and works wonderful on some of my sites. But I have 2 sets of sites that I can load the plug in and even get as far as creating, but then it says error at the bottom and then done and the pdf never appears that I created? It will let me go into a page or post and create a pdf of that page or post.

    1. Thanks for letting me know. Can you post the error message and line number that it gives you? Do you know of any configuration, plugin or permissions settings that might be different on these sites?

  23. Hi Kalin,

    Thanks first of all for this wonderful plugin, it solved me lot of headache. Reading through your “known issues” I saw you mention images.

    What happens on my site is that images from pages are larger than the page width. Is there a way to tell the images they shouldn’t be wider than xxx pixels at any time?

    Thanks a lot!

    1. At this time, no, sorry, there’s no way to do that. It currently just grabs the images and puts them in at the same size they were in the original page. It would be cool, but I wasn’t able to find any built-in mechanism to do this in TCPDF. It does have a setImageScale() function which is in kalins_pdf_create.php if you can get in to modify your PHP code, but this function will probably scale down all images, which probably is not what you wanted.

  24. I have discovered that the “mysterious underscore” that appears under the image, is a link to the image’s url… is that helpful?
    another question: why every linebreak causes the creation of a new page?


    1. I’m working on this plugin now and tried upgrading the version of TCPDF, which seems to have fixed the mysterious underscore problem (and hopefully some of the other image problems) and it also fixed the blockquotes issue!

      I’m not sure what you mean by “every linebreak”. Line breaks don’t seem to do that to me. Can you give me specific steps to reproduce the issue?

      1. So, regarding the underscore, if I simply replace the TCPDF with the new version should it work?

        Regarding pagebreaks, investigating further, I have noticed that it happens with some posts which (peeking in the database with phpmyadmin) have a few “\r\n” combinations in it.
        Every “\r\n” causes a few blank rows to appear, thus the need to create more than one page…

      2. Should I do something else or I just need to replace the tcpdf folder?
        And what about the “page breaks”?

      3. Did you try replacing it and it didn’t work, because no you shouldn’t need to do anything else. I have no idea about the page breaks. When I add \r\n into a post it just shows the \r\n text and doesn’t translate to line breaks.

      4. Where could I send you the content of one of the problematic posts?
        I will try to upload the new tcpdf version asap and will let you know.

  25. Kalin,

    I’m not sure this is processing shortcodes from other plugins properly. We have a plugin that allows bibliographic information to be extracted from doi lookups.

    We also have a Table of Contents plugin enabled – we’re wanting to render the entire post – ToC, biblio and have shortcodes processed, but the plugin isn’t doing that for us right now.

    This is a custom shortcode in the post, but it is not getting rendered by pdf-creation-station, despite the checkbox being clicked. Do you want to see an example?

    1. Yeah, let me know what plugins you’re using or send me the code you’re using to render the shortcode and I’ll see if I can figure something out. Unfortunately, however, this feature can be hit or miss because TCPDF, the PDF generation engine I’m using doesn’t support things like CSS and JavaScript, so if your shortcode is using any of that, it’s not going to work and there’s not really anything we can do 🙁

      Edit: I’m wrong, TCPDF does actually support inline CSS. Not sure about regular CSS. It might not always render it perfectly, however.

  26. Hi, love the idea of plugin but I can’t get it working! When I click ‘Create PDF!’ it lets me reorder each item but then when I click ‘Create PDF!’ in that window, it does nothing. I’ve left it running for ages in IE8 and Firefox 3.6 but in both nothing happens. And I’ve only tried to create it out of 3 or 4 very short blog posts. Please help!

    1. Hmmm, this is one of those that’s difficult for me since I don’t know how to reproduce the problem. Are you running updated versions of WordPress and PHP? Have you done anything special with your WordPress configuration? Can you give me a list of plugins you’re using? I can try installing all of them and maybe see if I can get your problem to occur on my system. Oh, and does the plugin work if you use the settings page, where you apply a link to your individual posts/pages?
      Edit: Oh, I see you’re the same person who posted on the other page. Cool. Hopefully this is a relatively isolated incident 🙂

  27. Great Plug-in…. only one issue so far. The Help tabs on the admin pages don’t work with the exception of PDF Creation Station under “Tools” and PDF Creation Station under “Settings”. This site was created using ColorLabs Arthemia Premium theme. CorlorLabs says this is a problem with PDF Creation Station.


    1. Sorry, I’m not really clear on what you’re saying. The two pages you listed are the only two admin pages for this plugin, so it sounds like both the help menus for Creation Station are working properly for you. It’s all the other plugins and admin pages that don’t bother putting in a help menu, so mine looks like the odd man out. Or did you misstate things and mean that the two Creation Station help menus were not working for you?

    2. Holy Crap, I see what you’re talking about. My plugins are destroying everyone else’s Help menus. How did I miss that this whole time? I kept thinking nobody else was making help menus. Okay, this fix is now my top priority, cuz this is just embarrassing. Thanks so much for pointing it out.

      1. Hey Kalin,

        Thanks for the quick reply!

        Know what you mean…. kind of like going to the prom with toilet paper sticking to your shoe. 😉

        And it not just the help pages for other plug-ins but ALL help pages related to any of the admin functions. Found the problem starting with the Dashboard page.

        BTW, found out about your Plug-in from my theme developer ColorLabs Project in Indonesia. As soon as the fix is in I’ll let them know since they recommend your plug-in.

        Phil, Salem Oregon
        Salem Art Association.

      2. Hey Kalin,
        Just saw the update to your PDF Creation Station plug-in and did in update and it appears now that ALL “Help” drop down menus are working in the admin sections.

        Many Thanks for the very quick turn around in getting this issue resolved!

        Salem Art Association

  28. hi !

    great one !!! loving it !

    Have a problem on large posts. More than 9 pages it does not “pdfify” the post.

    But possible issu with image or something else. The post is private so cannot give link publically…

  29. Hi,
    firstly cheers for the great plugin

    I want to use your plugin for a pdf version of a support site I built with about 30 pages.
    Only I have some issues on a some pages with images.
    In firebug i see its a json parse error.
    [Break on this error] var newFileData = JSON.parse(responseObjString);

    All images are png format, The same code is used to insert all images (they have a caption each) Most pages work, some don’t, any clues?

    Kind Regards Alex.

    1. Hi Alex. It sounds like something is going wrong with TCPDF on the backend, and it’s giving an invalid response, which is then causing the JSON.parse() call to fail. I’ll try to look into this at some point in the next week or two, and I’ll email you for some more information.

  30. I’m trying to install the PDF Creator, but it won’t load. it states “could not create directory. /wp-content.”

    I have never had any problems with any other plugins just this one, Any ideas?

    Thanks a bunch

    1. I haven’t seen this error before. Is it happening when you install, when you activate, or when you click on the settings or tool page? If it happens when you click on the settings or tool page, my first guess is that either you have your uploads folder in a non-standard location or you have permissions on /wp-content or /wp-contet/uploads set to something too restrictive. Either way I need to put in a fix to account for these situations. Can you let me know if either of these is the case?

    1. Yeah, I didn’t design it to show up on the home page, category or tag pages, because for me, I don’t want them on those pages. I would like to allow users to select the option to show on home/category/tag pages, but haven’t gotten around to building in that feature yet. That’s currently #17 on my Possible Future Feature page.

    2. I looked into putting the links on home/category/tag pages, but it turns out it’s a lot more complicated than I expected because sometimes themes use post excerpts instead of the full content. In that case the theme handles everything so plugins don’t have an easy way of knowing what’s going on.

      However, if you know PHP/HTML and feel like doing a little theme hacking you can find “the loop”, (usually begins with this line: < ?php while ( have_posts() ) : the_post(); ?> and can be found in different places such as index.php, category.php, tag.php or loop.php depending on your theme) and within that loop, insert some of the PHP code from my post about adding the link to your theme ( I tried posting the code here, but the browser insists on rendering it as HTML. All you need is the single line of PHP code that would go into the single post template file.

  31. Someone told me that he had problems with font sizes not working with bulleted lists. I couldn’t reproduce the problem. He also mentioned that if you title your posts by numbers they won’t come out in order, like it goes 1, 11, 2, 22, 3… instead of 1,2,3… but this is just kind of how alphabetization works in all programs. You gotta number them 01, 02, 03… to force them into the right order. (Fortunately I included a way of reordering pages so even if this is a problem it’s still fixable.)

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