Category Archives: ReportLab

ReportLab: PDF Publishing with Python is now Available!

My latest book, ReportLab: PDF Processing with Python is now available for purchase.

ReportLab has been around since the year 2000 and has remained the primary package that Python developers use for creating reports in the PDF format. It is an extremely powerful package that works across all the major platforms. This book will also introduce the reader to other Python PDF packages.

You can get the book at the following online retailers:

Creating and Manipulating PDFs with pdfrw

Patrick Maupin created a package he called pdfrw and released it back in 2012. The pdfrw package is a pure-Python library that you can use to read and write PDF files. At the time of writing, pdfrw was at version 0.4. With that version, it supports subsetting, merging, rotating and modifying data in PDFs. The pdfrw package has been used by the rst2pdf package (see chapter 18) since 2010 because pdfrw can “faithfully reproduce vector formats without rasterization”. You can also use pdfrw in conjunction with ReportLab to re-use potions of existing PDFs in new PDFs that you create with ReportLab.

In this article, we will learn how to do the following:

  • Extract certain types of information from a PDF
  • Splitting PDFs
  • Merging / Concatenating PDFs
  • Rotating pages
  • Creating overlays or watermarks
  • Scaling pages
  • Combining the use of pdfrw and ReportLab

Let’s get started! Continue reading Creating and Manipulating PDFs with pdfrw

Creating Interactive PDF Forms in ReportLab with Python

The ReportLab toolkit allows you to create interactive fillable forms. The PDF standard actually has a fairly rich set of interactive elements. ReportLab doesn’t support all of these elements, but it does cover most of them. In this section, we will look at the following widgets:

  • checkbox
  • radio
  • choice
  • listbox
  • textfield

All of these widgets are created by calling various methods on the canvas.acroform property. Note that you can only have one form per document. Let’s take a look at the widgets that ReportLab supports! Continue reading Creating Interactive PDF Forms in ReportLab with Python

Adding SVGs to PDFs with Python and ReportLab

ReportLab has native support for generating SVGs, but not for embedding SVGs in their PDFs. Fortunately, Dinu Gherman created the svglib package, a pure-Python package that can read SVG files and convert them to other formats that ReportLab can use. The official website for svglib is on Github.

The svglib package will work on Linux, Mac OS and Windows. The website states that it works with Python 2.7 – 3.5, but it should work in newer versions of Python as well.

You can use svglib to read your existing SVG giles and convert them into ReportLab Drawing objects. The svglib package also has a command-line tool, svg2pdf, that can convert SVG files to PDFs. Continue reading Adding SVGs to PDFs with Python and ReportLab