These are features I would like to add to Kalin’s PDF Creation Station WordPress plugin (though I can’t make any promises).
If you particularly support or are opposed to any of these ideas or have one of your own, please don’t hesitate to leave a comment.
If you would like to beta test new features that have not been released yet, you can load the SVN repository from http://plugins.svn.wordpress.org/kalins-pdf-creation-station/ (I’m not currently working on anything new.)
- Save Settings
It would be cool to allow users to save their settings on the tool page to either a file or database entry, so that you could instantly populate all the form fields on the page with your saved data. If a user has a website with several categories and they come back periodically to create one PDF for each individual category, they will likely use different settings for each PDF and will want a way to easily retrieve those settings for next time.
- Build HTML and TXT files to use plugin as site backup
I could easily modify Creation Station to create a single HTML file that’s pretty much the exact same as the PDF except it’s straight HTML. I could also create a TXT file in the same manner. It also wouldn’t be a big problem to make a different HTML or TXT file for each post, drop them into a folder, compress them into a zip file, then post that zip file along with the PDF files in the list on the creation tool page, creating a quick and simple site content backup. This wouldn’t replace classic database backups but it’s nice to have an extra backup that’s easily readable by someone who doesn’t know databases.
- Download Counter
I’d like to display a counter on the settings page that keeps track of how many times individual page/post PDF files have been created and accessed. Perhaps a little jquery popup that lists every page/post and lists the download count.
- Font Color Chooser
You can already set font color using an HTML attribute in your title page and other inserted HTML, but I want to make a popup color selector for the main content text.
- Automatically Re-Build Multiple-Post PDFs
The script for the individual PDF files automatically deletes the appropriate PDF file whenever the post is saved, so PDF content always matches the content of the post. I’d like to add a similar feature for PDF files created through the manual Creation Station tool. I would like to figure out how to add meta data into the PDF files and list the posts used so that whenever a post is updated, the PDF can also be updated.
- Custom (Or At Least Selectable) Fonts
Apparantly there is a way to add fonts into the TCPDF creator engine. I’d like to grab a list of popular fonts and drop them in and add a font selector on the Creation Station tool and settings pages. What would be even better is to allow an admin to upload their own custom fonts, though I don’t know if that’s even possible.
- Custom Margins
It should be pretty easy to allow custom left, right, top and bottom margins in the generated PDF files, but I’m not sure if anyone would use this feature or if it would just waste space on the admin pages.
- Find and Replace with Regex
One of the original reasons for this plugin was so I could remove all the web style paragraph breaks in my pages and replace them with book style breaks with an indent so that you aren’t wasting paper if you want to print the PDF files. I’d like to add a section that allows a user to enter a regex (or some text if they don’t know regex) and some text to replace it. This could be used for removing links or email addresses or other things you may not want in your PDF files.
- Insert HTML page
I’d like to add a button onto the tool admin page that will allow users to insert HTML as pages anywhere into the PDF, instead of just at the beginning and end.
- Include Tables Checkbox
I’d like to add the option to include or not include HTML tables. I’ve tested Creation Station with a table and it seems to work but I’m worried that more complex tables will not render properly through TCPDF and I’d like to give users the option of not including them, just as I have for images.
- List PDF Files in Menu Creator
In WordPress 3.0 they added an admin panel to create sidebar menus. I’d like to add a box to that menu creator that will list all the PDFs that have been created from the tool admin page so that links to those documents can be easily added to the sidebar. I should also include the option to add the single-post link for the page the user is currently on, so you can have the link in the sidebar instead of the post content. Perhaps I could also add a widget that lists all the available PDF files.
- PDF Creation Progress Bar
I’m not sure how this would work, or if it’s even possible, but I’d like to add a progress bar to the tool admin page that could update as your PDF is being generated so if for some reason it takes a long time, a user can tell if things are working properly and can get an idea of how long it will take.
- More Header and Footer Customization
Someone asked for the option to remove the horizontal lines on the top and bottom of each PDF page. I suppose it could be nice to have this and also to be able to remove headers/footers entirely. If you can hack a little PHP, you can look at this post for instructions on how to make this happen in the current version.
- Change Post Order (a substitution for this feature new in V 3.0)
For sites with hundreds of posts it can be cumbersome to search through the whole list on the tools page and manually re-order them. It would be cool to have a dropdown to order the list of posts by different criteria.
- Automatic Category/sub-page PDF Creation
I’m not totally sure how to implement the UI for this, but I’d like to build a feature that allows you to link to a PDF of a particular category or page with all its sub-pages and have that PDF automatically recompiled whenever a new post/page is added or updated. I’m not sure if this feature justifies creating a whole new settings menu or if it should use settings from the single-post settings menu, or perhaps it should actually be built into the tool page. I just don’t know. Let me know if you have any ideas.
- Epub format export
It would be cool to export in Epub format as well as PDF for e-readers.
- Search Engine Optimization
PDFs have certain SEO options, like keywords, author and category that can be injected as metadata to improve search engine visibility. For individual posts, this should automatically grab tags, category, and author and on tool page will be customizable.
- Private post support
Private posts currently don’t show up in the list. They probably should.
- Templates or ability to save settings
It would be nice if people could save all their HTML so they can switch formats back and forth on-the-fly or have PDFs built based off template files that the user can specify.