Units and measures

Within scryber all drawing and positioning is based from the top left of the page. Scryber allows the definition of a dimension based on a number of positioning and sizing structures. All based around the Unit of measure.

In all the examples so far we have used pt (points) as the unit of measure, but scryber also supports the use of millimeters (mm), inches (in) and also pixels (px) as postfix units. A pixel is translated to 1/96 th of an inch for printing.


Scryber does not support the use of relative dimensions: em, rem, vh etc. The only exception is the use of 100% on widths.

  • PDFUnit
    • This is the base single dimension value.
    • Its default scale is the prinding standard points unit (1/72nd of an inch).
    • Values can also be specified in millimeters (mm) and inches (in) as well as explicitly in points.
    • Units are used in many places in xml templates
    • e.g. 72, 72pt, 1in, 25.4mm would all represent a 1.0 inch dimension.
    • Units can directly be cast and converted from integer and double values, or constructed in code.
    • see Scryber.Drawing.PDFUnit for more information.
  • PDFSize
    • This is a width and height dimension with 2 PDFUnits.
    • Units can be mixed and matched within a size, but are generally only used internally for calculation
    • e.g. 72pt 1in is a 1.0 inch wide and high
  • PDFPoint
    • This represents a location on a page or container with an x and y component.
    • Again units can be mixed and matched within a point, but are generally only used internally for calculation
    • e.g. 72pt 1in is 1 inch in from the left of the container and 1 inch down.
  • PDFThickness
    • A thickness represent 4 dimensions around a square.
    • It follows the same order as html starting at the top and moving in a clockwise direction to the right, bottom and left.
    • It can be defined with 1, 2 or 4 values as a string, where 1 dimension refers to all values, 2 is the vertical and then horizontal and all 4 are explicit.
    • Thicknesses are used by the margins, padding, clipping attributes on components.
    • e.g. 25.4mm, 1in 72pt or 72 72 72 72 are all equivalent to 1 inch thickness all around.
    • see Scryber.Drawing.PDFThickness for more information.
  • PDFRect
    • A rectagle is represented by 4 dimensions forming the x, y, width and height of a rectangle.
    • They can be mixed and matched in units, but are generally only used internally for calculation.
    • This should not be confused with the PDFRectangle used in drawing (see Drawing with SVG)
    • see Scryber.Drawing.PDFRect for more information.

Units use in templates

When using units in xml templates its easy just to provide the values. For example the following will add an absolutely positioned Div on a page with some thickness padding textual content

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="utf-8" ?>

<html xmlns='http://www.w3.org/1999/xhtml'>
    <style type="text/css">
            background-color: aqua;

        .positioned {
            position: absolute;
            top: 30mm;
            left: 40mm;
            width: 100mm;
            padding:20pt 0.25in 4mm 20pt;
            background-color: #AAAAFF;

    <div class="positioned">
        20pt padding all around at 10pt, 20pt with a width of 100mm.

Units in code

The same could have be achieved in code using the Unit and Thickness constructors.

All the dimensions have a range of constructors, casting and parsing options as needed.

//using Scryber.Drawing

PDFUnit unit1 = 20; //implicit cast to 20pts
var unit2 = (PDFUnit)72; //explicit cast to 72 points (1 inch)
var unit3 = new PDFUnit(1, PageUnits.Inches); //explicit unit scale

var pt1 = new PDFPoint(20,72); //defaults to points
var pt2 = new PDFPoint(unit1, unit2); //explicit unit dimensions

var thick1 = new PDFThickness(unit3); //Applies to all with a PDFUnit value
var thick2 = new PDFThickness(10,20,10,20); //Applies explicit values to each dimensions

var rect = PDFRect.Empty; //Set to Zeroed values.
rect.Inflate(thick2); //Then inflate the rectangle by the thickness.

var rect2 = PDFRect.Parse("12pr 10pt 100pt 2in"); //And all support parsing too.

One Hundred Percent

The special value of 100% for width applies true to the underlying FullWidth style value.

By default div’s have a FullWidth of true, so they will be 100% wide, but tables, lists etc do not. By specifying a width of 100% on these, they will use all the available space.

See Positioning your content for more information.

Overiding relative units

Finally: If there is an existing template or file being used, then overriding any relative styles can be done using the @media print rule - so it will only be used by scryber (or when the document is printed anyway).