Template auto-margin sizes

I had a need today to try and figure out exactly what the auto-margins for PDFs were. What I mean by this, is the actual margin size on the output document when you have your template set to 0 margins.

I tested this on a “Letter” sized PDF. Before today I was under the impression that the auto-margins were the same no matter what size output file you selected, but I did not test that. I will most likely do more testing later, and will post my results.

I found that the left-side margin was 0.08 inches,
and the top margin was 0.34 inches.


Thank you @Marc_Dillon for the details.

I discussed this with @Aleksi and here are some insights:

  • Right now, the new engine will set the default left and right margin as 19 points no matter what, because that’s the margin old engine PDFRocket is using.
  • They want to give us the opportunity to set the margins in the editor, just as we can customize the page height and width.

But in our App we saw that the new PDF engine has greater auto-margins. That’s why AppSheet enabled the old engine for us again (PDF-Rocket). Here we got smaller margins. Maybe our using of tables in the template leads to different margins.
I would prefer to have no margins at all.


Thanks for brining that up @Fabian. Now I’m wondering which “engine” I’m on and if I’ll have to redo a bunch of the super-specific sizing I did yesterday :open_mouth: . What do you mean by “engine”? Is it the setting between default vs mandrill? Or is this something that had to be switched over for your account by an appsheet dev. Beceause I think the account I was doing this on yesterday had something switched on it by a dev a few months ago, to handle the rendering of images on a PDF better.

At this point, I believe everyone should be off PDFRocket, or within the next few (business?) days.

You can see it in the PDF details. If you have PDF-Version 1.5 then you should be on the new engine. They use Skia (open source).
If your PDF Version is 1.4 then you are still with the old engine.
In my case the AppSheet team switched me back to the old rendering engine which is using pdf version 1.4

We had some real trouble with PDF in the last months.

I’m still with Version 1.4 and I hope they don’t change it silently :slight_smile:


Where do I find these PDF details?

Please right click on the PDF file and click on “Properties”. In the “Details” pane you can see the version.


Thanks. That for some reason doesn’t work on my system. Possibly because I use a different default PDF app. But I was able to open the file with Adobe Acrobat and find the Properties from within there. Looks like this file is 1.4. Hmmm…

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Is this what you see? So you are still with the old engine I think. You will have different margins with the new engine I suppose.

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I have this exact same problem trying to generatea 4 by 7 cm sticker
The margins are BIG in the result but the template is fine with 0 marging and proper page size the result whatsoever is not the desired. I’ll try to increase the scale to see if I can further print the document to the size required.

This is the template:

This is the result

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Hi @tecpme_casm if you’re on the new rendering engine (which had the overly large default margins), then you should now be able to specify custom margin values in the editor.

See the release notes here: July 16, 2021 - #5 by Greg_Denton