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Manta — a desktop application for creating invoices with beautiful and customizable templates

8 months ago from , OSS Full time

Manta is a flexible invoicing desktop app with beautiful & customizable templates.

It's geared toward freelancers such as designers, developers, photographers, copywriters ... or anyone who needs to make invoices in general. The main purpose of this app is to help freelancers to quickly create professional looking invoices.

Here are a few examples:

Sample Invoice 1

Sample Invoice 2

Invoice Form

Manta supports all 3 major platforms Mac/Windows/Linux and is freely available on GitHub at https://github.com/hql287/Manta.

The main reason that I open sourced Manta is that I want to give back to the community that taught me so much. And after went public for almost a month, it has received a lot of positive feedback and I really hope this post in can bring Manta to even more people so they can save time and impress their clients

58 comments

  • Ronnie NielsenRonnie Nielsen, 8 months ago

    I love the simplicity. I'd pay 8 bucks for this. ( ͡° ͜ʖ ͡°)

    15 points
  • Ken Em, 8 months ago

    A few other random observations:

    I went to the contacts tab expecting to be able to create a contact there, but I can't. Contacts don't show up there until an invoice is created.

    I've created a test invoice, but cannot edit it. The edit button does nothing.

    I've added my logo in the settings, but when I preview my test invoice, the default Manta logo displays instead.

    3 points
    • Hung Le, 8 months ago

      Hey Ken, thanks a lot for taking the time for giving me this feedback.

      • Editing invoice is being worked on and you can track the progress here. Since Manta is going to have a weekly update from now on and this's already on the list of v.1.1.2 so no worries, you'll definitely be able to edit your invoices next week.
      • The logo issue is also reported and it's already been fixed. So when you update to app to v.1.1.2 (this Friday), this issue will go away.

      Thanks again for the feedback and please don't hesitate to ask if you have other questions.

      3 points
  • Bruno BarrosBruno Barros, 8 months ago

    Noob question: how do I run it?

    3 points
  • Alex HoffmanAlex Hoffman, 8 months ago

    Sweet!

    2 points
    • Hung Le, 8 months ago

      Thanks, Alex. Have you tried the app? Would love to know what was your experience! :)

      0 points
  • Dan WilkinsonDan Wilkinson, 8 months ago

    You Sir, are a Scholar, and a Gent.

    Will be downloading shortly :-)

    1 point
    • Hung Le, 8 months ago

      Ahh, thanks a lot for the kind words, Dan!

      Have you tried the app yet? Would love to know what you think.

      Thanks!

      0 points
  • Jan ZhengJan Zheng, 8 months ago

    looks super slick!!

    1 point
    • Hung LeHung Le, 8 months ago

      Hi Jan, thanks for the kind words. I hope it was useful for you, too

      0 points
  • Gareth PriceGareth Price, 8 months ago

    Fantastic!

    I know this is OS, but i would love to read a blog post or two about how you made this with react, electron etc.

    Keep it up! :)

    1 point
    • Hung Le, 8 months ago

      Hey Gareth,

      Manta is open source on GitHub so if you're interested in the technical side of it, you're very welcome to dig the source code. It's far from perfect but I've tried my best to keep in organized and followed all the best practices that I know. So all issues, PRs are always welcomed!

      0 points
  • Amanda Franzoi, 8 months ago

    WOW its awesome :D

    1 point
    • Hung LeHung Le, 8 months ago

      Hi Amanda,

      Thanks for kind words. Have you tried the app yet? Would love to know what was your experience.

      0 points
  • Jenny G.Jenny G., 8 months ago

    hey, this looks really nice and clean. I really like it! Is there a switch or field for other currencies? Would be really nice to use with € also.

    1 point
    • Hung Le, 8 months ago

      Hi Jenny, thanks for stopping by.

      Yes, Manta supports multiple currencies. Here's a quick gif showing how you can turn on or off fields in the form and select € as the invoice's currency.

      Form Options

      Let me know if you have any other question.

      0 points
      • Jenny G.Jenny G., 8 months ago

        Wow that is cool! Sorry that I missed it in the pictures. Super nice tool.

        1 point
  • Joe TurnerJoe Turner, 8 months ago

    Can you have the PDF just save as a PDF vs opening Acrobat?

    1 point
    • Hung Le, 8 months ago

      It should be possible. I'll look into this. Thanks for the suggestion, Joe.

      0 points
    • Hung Le, 8 months ago

      Hey Joe,

      Now you can turn on/off auto preview PDF feature in the settings.

      Turn On/Off Auto Preview

      This's coming in v.1.1.2 which will be released on this Friday. Hope this helps!

      Let me know if you have any other question.

      0 points
  • Hung Le, 8 months ago

    Not really related to the app itself but I'm looking for a Dribbble invite. Any help would be greatly appreciated!

    1 point
  • Ken Em, 8 months ago

    What are the system requirements for this? It doesn't work under OS X 10.9.5.

    (Yes, I know that's old but I have my reasons. ;)

    0 points
    • Hung Le, 8 months ago

      Hey Ken, sorry for the inconvenience. The app is built on top of Electron (with its newest release) so it should support macOS 10.9 and later. More information here https://electronjs.org/docs/tutorial/supported-platforms

      0 points
    • Hung Le, 8 months ago

      Can you provide some screenshots of the issue that you have? I'll look into it.

      0 points
      • Ken Em, 8 months ago

        Sure, but I'm afraid there isn't much to see. All I get is a blank main window, and none of the menus work.

        Image title

        0 points
        • Hung Le, 8 months ago

          Thanks for the quick reply. Will look into this asap.

          A few questions:

          • Did you download the v1.1.0 (new version) or v1.0.0 (the old version)?
          • Did you move the app to the Application folder?
          • Are you familiar with git and the command line interface? I can show you how to build the app directly on your machine.
          0 points
          • Ken Em, 8 months ago

            I downloaded version 1.1. Yes, it was moved to the Applications folder. I am not familiar with the command line.

            Also something else to note, as I just tried to install it again:

            1. I download the .dmg archive.
            2. I expand it.
            3. The window appears to copy the app to the Applications folder.
            4. On the desktop is another copy of the app just sitting there loose, which I then must manually trash.
            0 points
            • Hung Le, 8 months ago

              I think I know why it happened to you. Will send out a new update to fix this today.

              Thank you for your feedback

              Did you mean when you drag "Manta" to the Application folder, it will also copy to your desktop?

              0 points
              • Ken Em, 8 months ago

                No, I mean there's a copy of the app on the desktop right AFTER I extract the .dmg but BEFORE I copy it to the applications folder. So at that point I have:

                1. The .dmg archive.
                2. A copy of the app on the desktop.
                3. A window containing another copy of the app, ready to drag into an alias of the applications folder.

                I'm unable to do a screen shot at the moment as I'm away from my desktop machine.

                Thanks for looking into this!

                0 points
                • Hung LeHung Le, 8 months ago

                  Hmm, this sounds strange.

                  Anyway, I just released a newer version (v1.1.1), you can download it here: https://github.com/hql287/Manta/releases/tag/v1.1.1

                  Please let me know if the problems still persist.

                  Thanks!

                  0 points
                  • Matthias Fluor, 8 months ago

                    I would love to try it, I'm on Windows, and only v1.1.0 is available with an installer (only .exe.blockmap for v1.1.1). I get the same issue with a blank screen

                    0 points
                    • Hung LeHung Le, 8 months ago

                      Hi Matthias,

                      Sorry, I'm an idiot. Just reuploaded the Manta.Setup.1.1.1.exe. Please try again and let me know what you think.

                      Thanks!

                      0 points
                      • Ken Em, 8 months ago

                        Okay, so version 1.1.1 solves the blank screen problem, but I still get the extra copy of the app appearing on the desktop after extracting the .dmg (it seems harmless though):

                        Image title

                        Also, one minor UI quibble: the option to quit the app is under the Invoice menu when it should be under the Manta menu.

                        2 points
                        • Matthias Fluor, 8 months ago

                          Only problem that now occured is, after a few opens/closes, there are 2 unknown errors appearing and all data is gone (customers and invoices) and I cannot create a new invoice. Here, after entering all information in a new invoice and clicking "Save & Preview" this happens:

                          1 point
                          • Ken Em, 8 months ago

                            While this app looks promising, it seems very unstable to use at the moment. I'm curious how it progresses, but for now I'm sticking with Wave.

                            1 point
                            • Hung LeHung Le, 8 months ago

                              Ken, my apologize for the poor experience that you initially had with Manta. The first version of Manta (v1.0.0) was actually very stable. But v1.1.0 brought a lot of new changes and long requested features to the app so I guess there're some places that didn't got enough attention.

                              The good news is that it's under active development and the release cycle is much shorter now. You'll get a new update every week on Friday.

                              So yes, Manta is very young and there's a lot to improve, but I hope you give it a second chance :)

                              0 points
                          • Hung LeHung Le, 8 months ago

                            Hi Matthias,

                            Sorry for the issue. Can you show me how to replicate it? What did you mean by open/close? Are you on v.1.1.1? Some more details would be very helpful in finding the bug.

                            Thanks.

                            0 points
                        • Hung LeHung Le, 8 months ago

                          Huh, this is very strange! Not sure if this is an issue with the app itself or with the OS. Can you try open another DMG and see if this happens as well?

                          I'll look into this in the meantime.

                          Thanks.

                          0 points
                      • Matthias Fluor, 8 months ago

                        Thanks! Yes, now it works. Nice app, kudos! For me (I make invoices in multiple languages) it would be cool to have deeper customization, especially naming of the fields and the ability to change currencies for each invoice. Also, an inventory of items would be cool, so that it would be possible to add items from the "inventory" (like the contacts) or add a new one if needed.

                        In the end, invoice apps are all about speed and creating an onvoice without hassle - it's very promising in this area! If you allow me the question - could this electron app be ported to e.g. Android as well?

                        1 point
                        • Hung LeHung Le, 8 months ago

                          Suppor for multiple languages is already on the roadmap. You can come here and vote for the language that you would like Manta to support.

                          It will need some help from the community for translation so this might take awhile, though.

                          Anyway, it's possible to port to mobile but it will take a lot of work. You can reuse some of the React code (if using React Native) for the front-end but other than that, you'll need to start from scratch.

                          0 points
  • Rishi MohanRishi Mohan, 8 months ago

    Nice work!

    0 points
  • Joe TurnerJoe Turner, 8 months ago

    I love this! Well done on the launch.

    0 points
    • Hung LeHung Le, 8 months ago

      Thanks for the kind words, Joe. I'm glad that you found Manta useful. Any suggestion for feature request that you would like to make?

      0 points
  • Jordan BJordan B, 8 months ago

    Looks awesome. I’m on a MacBook Pro (Retina, 13-inch, Early 2015) running High Sierra version 10.13.1 and it crashes Alfred (version 2.8) anytime I try to open Manta. Manta also does not open.

    ¯_(ツ)_/¯

    0 points
    • Hung LeHung Le, 8 months ago

      Hey Jordan, sorry for the inconvenience.

      A few questions:

      • What version of Manta that you're using?
      • Have you moved Manta to the Application folder before launch it?
      • Did you get any error message?

      I'll look into this asap.

      0 points
      • Jordan BJordan B, 8 months ago

        Hi Hung—

        • I was using Manta v1.1.1
        • I did move Manta to the applications folder before launching.
        • I didn't get an error message, the Manta icon kept bouncing in my application bar (the app never opened) and rather than launching the app and closing, the Alfred search bar froze and couldn’t be closed without restarting my machine.

        I hope this is helpful. It does look like a very useful app and I really appreciate your efforts in designing and contributing something like this to the design community.

        1 point