How to install and run

pdfChip does not have a user-interface, but is used by a command-line interface (CLI). The application needs a valid activation to run. This activation is bound to the hardware from which the activation was performed.

Installing pdfChip

Available platforms for pdfChip are Windows, macOS and Linux.

You can download the latest version of pdfChip from our website by requesting a trial here: pdfchip

You can also register on our website for easy access to all pdfChip download links. Once registered and logged in, you can access the list of download links here: pdfchip


The package for Linux does not use installer software, it simply has to be unpacked within the designated folder. For example using the following command:

gtar zxvpf <callas pdfChip package>.tar.gz

Activating pdfChip

Before pdfChip can be used, the software has to be activated.

Request an activation code

Open a terminal window, change into the installation directory and type:

pdfChip --keycode <name> <company> trial [--aws]
Click to copy


pdfChip --keycode <name> <company> <license> [--aws]
Click to copy


name name of licensee (e.g. "Registered user")
company name of company (e.g. "User's company")
license  Licence key obtained from the registration card or the License.pdf provided by callas or the reseller.
trial To make a request for a trial version, please use the keyword "trial" (for a pdfChip trial version)
aws for installation on Amazon Web Services (EC2, using Windows or Linux 64bit)

The textual output of --keycode has to be send via e-mail to the e-mail address named in the text in order to receive an activation code from the registration server.

Activating pdfChip

After receiving the automatic email reply, the attached "Activation.pdf" has to be saved and pdfChip has to be activated. To do this, open a terminal window, change into the installation directory and type the following command:

pdfChip --activate  <activation file>
Click to copy


activation file Full path to Activation.pdf

A activated License.txt will then be stored in the user-preferences-folder of the current user.

If no response is received or in the event of an error, please contact [email protected] to determine the exact cause.

Please note:

It is necessary to activate the received license file to get a permanent valid license file.

The Activation.pdf (or the content of the e-mail) can only be used for activation for 48 hours.
After this time frame, a new Activation.pdf has to be requested from the activation server.

Deactivating pdfChip

As the activation (and the resulting license file) is bound to the hardware, it is necessary to deactivate a license on one machine before a activation can take place on a different machine.

Request the current activation code

Open a terminal window, change into the installation directory and type:

pdfChip --status
Click to copy

Deactivate using the activation code

 Copy the activation code which is listed within the output (24 alphanumeric characters).

pdfChip --deactivate <activation code>
Click to copy

 Confirm the question (Do you want to proceed (y/n)? ) by typing "y". The pdfChip activation will be removed from the system.

Using pdfChip

The command-line interface of pdfChip converts an HTML file into a PDF. Referenced images, CSS and JavaScripts will be included in the created PDF.

pdfChip <Path to HTML file> <Path to PDF file>

On Mac OS X and Linux, the command in the terminal window should look like:

./pdfChip index.html result.pdf

Using Windows, the command would be:

pdfChip.exe index.html result.pdf

The names of the input HTML file and the output PDF are totally free, you can use whatever works in your environment.

Return codes

All return codes below 100 indicate a successful operation, a code starting with 100 indicates an error.

Return code Description
0 Successful operation
Return codes indicating an error
Return code Description
20 An unknown error has occurred.
21 Unable to write pdf file, file access error.
22 Undefined Mediabox, minimum page size should be 3 by 3 units.
23 An error has occurred in flate encoder.
24 An error has occurred in flate decoder.
25 An error has occurred in lzw decoder.
26 An error has occurred in ASCII-85 decoder.
27 An error has occurred in ASCII-Hex decoder.
28 An error has occurred in RunLength decoder.
29 An error has occurred in prediction decoder.
30 An error has occurred in dct (jpeg-image) decoder.
31 File offset is greater than 9999999999 bytes. PDF only allows offsets up to 10 decimal digits.
32 The required resource name is too large, too much resources are required.
33 A spot color space has a wrong alternate color space type.
34 A path length entry is out of range.
35 There are too many PDF files open.
36 Unable to open the PDF file for import.
37 PDF file is not supported, it might be encrypted.
38 Unable to parse pdf file, syntax error found.
39 The page could not be found.
40 A given parameter is invalid or wrong.
41 The given object number is invalid
42 A inline-image contains an ID without a BI.
43 A content stream contains illegal commands.
44 A resource could not be found.
45 A given resource is wrong.
46 A given function object is wrong.
47 Unable to read font resource.
48 Unable to find glyphs in current font.
49 An error has occured in XMP Metadata function.
50 Invalid context (e.g. a context is popped wich never was pushed)
51 Page without underlay or overlay reservation.
52 The keycode you have entered is invalid.
53 The keycode you have entered has expired.
54 Unable to draw barcode.
55 Unable to open icc profile from file path.
56 Unable to read all required encryption parameter.
57 The page limit is exhausted.
58 Too many parallel processes.
59 The requested barcode is not supported.
60 Unable to read all linearized hint data.
100 Failed loading HTML page.
101 Invalid command line argument.
102 Unknown HTML contents.
103 Remote ICC profiles are not supported.
104 WebKit error or JavaScript error.
105 DeviceN is specified incorrectly in CSS (i.e. wrong number of colors)
106 JavaScript extension 'cchip' is not supported

If you are experiencing a return code, which is not listed above (or in the output of the call: "pdfChip --status"), please contact us. Please provide the respective files then, they are necessary to further analyse the issue.