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Hi List!

I'd like to create good-looking PDF documents using data obtained from Lua (parsing and processing various data sources).

The documents I want to produce should allow (possibly nested) tables with borders, embedded images and text with different fonts.

The approach I tried was to create an HTML file from Lua (to be later "printed" with PDFCreator to generate the PDFs), but the results were disappointing: the html files were rendered quite differently depending on the browser (especially tables with borders) and the spacings were a pain to get right (the tables did really look ugly).

I chose HTML+CSS because it is very easy to generate from Lua and I already know it somewhat, although I'm not a master, but now I fear that my choice was a wrong one, so I wonder whether a different document format or approach could be more suitable.

I'd like something which is not too difficult to learn (I don't know PDF format, but I gathered that it wouldn't be easily generated from Lua).

Maybe I should use some simple formats (XML based? I could cope with XML if its format is not too complex) and then convert it to PDF with some tool (please, consider that only free tools are viable for me)?

I thought I could generate an ODT file (open document text - as in openoffice), but its internal format is quite a mess (I collected some info on how to do that, but it's rather cumbersome and seems to require quite a long time commitment).

I hope there is a better and simpler alternative.
Ideally all tools should be amenable to be carried away on a portable HD, since I may be needed to generate the documents on computers (using Windows XP as OS) different from my usual workstation, and where I could not install new software.

Any suggestion or pointer greatly appreciated!
Thank you very much in advance.