I need a tool that allows me to design how a PDF file would look like in a web page. Something simple the image below, I would like to design using some visual tool, export to HTML/CSS and then just fill the fields in my backend. Is this possible?


  • 4
    practically speaking, no, it's not possible. There are tools that claim to export PDFs as HTML, but unless the PDF was created extremely carefully, the markup it produces is usually a mess, not accessible, and for the most part, unusable.
    – DA01
    Commented Oct 13, 2015 at 8:14
  • @DA01Can I create the design and export as HTML/CSS at least ? Commented Oct 13, 2015 at 9:05
  • Google "pdf to html" and you'll find plenty of tools to convert a PDF to HTML. It likely won't be pretty HTML, though.
    – DA01
    Commented Oct 13, 2015 at 9:13
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    Hi Valter, welcome to GDSE and thanks for your question. If you want to know more about the site, please see the help center or ping one of us in the Graphic Design Chat. Keep contributing and enjoy the site!
    – Vincent
    Commented Oct 13, 2015 at 10:29
  • When you say "fill the fields in my backend", what do you mean exactly? Do you mean editing the code manually like in notepad or do you mean editing the PDF? You know, it's possible to create layouts in some publishing software such as Adobe InDesign and then export them to HTML. Or using Dreamweaver. But the results are not always super clean and the code might need to be tweaked. Could you add more details about why you want to do this, where it will be used exactly and the context? That could help you get some extra answers.
    – go-junta
    Commented Nov 28, 2015 at 12:37

3 Answers 3


The only solution I would suggest would be to use InDesign for this. The template solution in a PDF format could work but after Acrobat 8.0 Adobe realized what people were doing with scripting and features so they limited what you can do with Acrobat and there are not as many objects in the newer versions of Acrobat so a pure JavaScript solution may not be possible.

I would template your workflow with InDesign by creating a standardized CSS you can import and default paragraph and character styles. You can then output as a PDF for the approval process and HTML. However, be advised if you start adding tidbits to the character and paragraph styles it will make your CSS convoluted.

Another solution could be generating in XML and use many tools you can research on converting XML to PDF then bring it into InDesign as IDML but this would probably require Adobe's InDesign SDK and you have to go through an approval process now which, if I recall, it took three weeks before I was approved.

If I may be missing something by your question please let me know and I will go into further detail with my answer.


Adobe Muse

Adobe Muse is a WYSIWYG (What You See Is What You Get) editor. It allows the designer to create web pages without coding. It exports the code to HTML and CSS. I don't think Muse has a built-in feature for saving as a PDF though (unless you print to a PDF).

Photoshop to Muse

Designers can also design a page in Photoshop and then place that Photoshop file into Muse. Using this method would allow the designer to create the design in Photoshop, save it as a PDF in Photoshop, and then import the design into Muse and export as HTML & CSS. Since you need a PDF, this may be your best method.


In my opinion the methodology you are proposing is not a good one.

You can have some diferent aproaches/workflows:

1) Normally you do not design as pdf. Pdf is a file that is usually for an output, not as a working file.

So you take an palication like indesign, and after is designed you can Export as a PDF, and make an aditional separated export for an html output.

2) Design a html page and after it is designed, you export or "print" the page to a pdf file.

This two methods can cover your need of an editable html page.

There are some aditional methods, like programming a web aplication than can generate a pdf on the fly, but that requires a lot of programming, which is not a part of graphic design.

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