IronPDF Alternative for PDF Generation in C# and .NET

February 19th, 2019 / by api2pdf /

IronPDF is a C# library for converting HTML to PDF, URLs to PDF, and images to PDFs. Additionally, it supports extracting data and images from existing PDF files. And finally, you can merge, split, and manipulate PDFs as well. It’s built exclusively for C# and .NET developers.

IronPDF is similar to iTextSharp, another .NET PDF library, but there are some advantages. For one, IronPDF, according to their credits page, is built and inspired by wkhtmltopdf and PDFSharp, thereby using webkit rendering. This will perform better than iTextSharp for HTML to PDF purposes.

Compare IronPDF to API2PDF

API2PDF is different than IronPDF for a number of reasons. First and foremost, API2PDF is a REST API, which means it can be used by any programming language. We do offer a super convenient c# client library on Github. Here are some of the key benefits of API2PDF:

  1. API2PDF is already built for massive scale. If you are responsible for installing your own IronPDF on your servers and machines, that means you have to be ready to scale out and eat those compute resources. That might be exactly what you want though, if you do not prefer to off load your PDF rendering.
  2. Cost. Most API2PDF customers spend less than $2/month. With IronPDF, at the time of this writing, to use it commercially, you are looking at an absurd starting cost of $399 for a single developer license, getting as high as $1599.
  3. Headless Chrome. While IronPDF appears to be built in part on wkhtmltopdf (not completely clear), API2PDF offers both wkhtmltopdf and Headless Chrome as PDF rendering options. Don’t get us wrong, wkhtmltopdf is nice, but we have noticed that Headless Chrome is by far a better rendering engine and is truly loved by our customers. It’s nice to have both options.
  4. LibreOffice. API2PDF offers libre office as another option to allow you to convert Microsoft office files, like MS Word to PDF. I couldn’t find any such option with IronPDF.
  5. ZXING. Purely a nice-to-have, but we do offer QR code and Barcode generation.

Let’s be fair though, while you are on the API2PDF website and we are biased, there are definite reasons why you would want to use IronPDF over us, so let’s share those too. API2PDF does not support data extraction, OCR, or reading information from existing PDFs while IronPDF does. You cannot edit / manipulate, or split existing PDFs. We do support merging PDFs together though. We also do not support digitally signing a PDF.


If you are running a web application, SaaS, etc, and you are looking to convert HTML to PDF, URLs to PDFs, and merge PDFs together, API2PDF is a no-brainer. Its built at scale, costs are negligible, and Headless Chrome is a far superior rendering engine. If you are looking to manipulate existing PDFs by extracting data, digitally sign, and other wonky stuff, IronPDF is worth looking at, despite the hefty price tag.

Get Started with API2PDF and .NET Today!

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