API limits

The issuu API is open to all but certain restrictions are in place to ensure fair usage and stability. The limits below will take effect on March 1, 2015.

APIs available

Using the API you can manage many of the same resources that are available on the web site: Specifically documents, folders, and bookmarks.

If you have a paid account with a Plus or Premium plan you can also use the API for managing document embeds and generating embed code for easy integration into your own web site.

Free Plus/Pro(*) Premium Optimum
Resources that can be
handled via the API
- documents
- bookmarks
- folders

- documents
- bookmarks
- folders
- embeds

- documents
- bookmarks
- folders
- embeds

- documents
- bookmarks
- folders
- embeds

Upload limits

  • There is a maximum number of documents you can upload via the API per month
  • The limit applies to direct uploads as well as URL uploads
  • The limit does NOT apply to document uploaded via the issuu.com website.
  • The error code returned will be “295 - Limit of monthly API uploads exceeded”. See table below
Free Plus/Pro(*) Premium Optimum
Uploads Max 1 per month Max 5 per month Max 10 per month Unlimited

Format limits

The file you upload needs to adhere to a few limitations regarding the format. The file type must be one of PDF, ODT, DOC, WPD, SXW, SXI, RTF, ODP or PPT, and the page count cannot exceed 500 pages. Depending on the paid plan of your account the file size can be up to 500MB (1MB = 1.048.576 bytes). Even Free accounts can upload files up to 100MB in size.

Free Plus/Pro(*) Premium Optimum
File size Max 100mb Max 200mb Max 500mb Max 500mb
Document size Max 250 pages Max 400 pages Max 500 pages Max 500 pages

Request limits

  • API calls are bound by a rate limit restriction to ensure that system resources are distributed evenly among all users
  • The load is calculated using a leaky bucket algorithm where infrequent bursts of requests are allowed
  • After having depleted the burst limit errors will be returned in subsequent API calls if these are performed at a rate higher than the sustained limit
  • The error code returned will be “012 - Request throttled”. See table below
  • If you are careful to always query the API at a rate lower than the sustained rate you won’t ever run into rate limit issues
  • If you run into rate limit errors on read requests consider caching earlier responses as API data often won’t change very fast
  • For rate limit errors on write request try to spread them over a larger time period if possible
  • It should be pretty rare to hit the throttling affect unless you are doing something unusual
Free Plus/Pro(*) Premium Optimum
Burst limit 10 requests 15 requests 20 requests 20 requests
Sustained limit 1 request per sec. 2 request per sec. 3 request per sec. 3 request per sec.

The table below lists the error codes that relate to API limits:

Code Message Explanation
012 Request throttled Requests are submitted at a rate that exceeds burst and sustained limits
205 File size is too large File uploaded exceeds the size limit of the account type
294 Limit of unlisted publications exceeded File uploaded exceeds the limit of unlisted publications purchased
295 Limit of monthly API uploads exceeded File uploaded exceeds the limit of the account type
296 Unavailable to Free accounts Resource accessed is not available for the account type

(*) Pro is a legacy plan that is no longer offered.