Use WeasyPrint instead
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Latest commit 88057bd Aug 16, 2016 @benjaoming benjaoming Bump version


Notice to all

Use WeasyPrint

As per 2016-06-05, this project is officially abandonded by the only maintainer and effectively dead. Please read the notice of 2016-05-02.

You are welcome to disagree, but in doing so, you should also apply for maintership ;)

The final release of xhtml2pdf is xhtml2pdf 0.1b1 which is a beta that has Python 3 support. However, it's doubtful that it's suitable for production. We did our best, and we managed to get really close. And big thanks to all that made an effort during the past months trying to create continuation.

To get an overview of how close xhtml2pdf 0.1 came to being usable, please refer to any unclosed tickets on Github.

- Benjamin Bach, June 5th 2016

What to use instead?

Go use WeasyPrint, the codebase is pretty, it has a lot more features, and it does exactly what xhtml2pdf was supposed to do, just better.


This is also a positive and optimistic encouragement! Python needs a good PDF generator, and it's better that we all join efforts. WeasyPrint is what you need, not xhtml2pdf which has had its deserved fame and popularity in the past. xhtml2pdf exists by name, it no longer has any relevance.


xhtml2pdf 0.1 was supposed to have had documentation. But didn't really. You may refer to doc/usage.rst.


This project is community-led! To strengthen it, please hang out on IRC #xhtml2pdf (Freenode) or join our maling list.

Call for testing

This project is heavily dependent on getting its test coverage up! Currently, Python 3 support is being worked on and many refactors and suggestions are potentially coming in. Furthermore, parts of the codebase could do well with cleanups and refactoring.

If you benefit from xhtml2pdf, perhaps look at the test coverage and identify parts that are yet untouched?


xhtml2pdf is a html2pdf converter using the ReportLab Toolkit, the HTML5lib and pyPdf. It supports HTML 5 and CSS 2.1 (and some of CSS 3). It is completely written in pure Python so it is platform independent.

The main benefit of this tool that a user with Web skills like HTML and CSS is able to generate PDF templates very quickly without learning new technologies.


This is a typical Python library and is installed using pip:

pip install xhtml2pdf

To obtain the latest experimental version that has Python 3 support, please use a prerelease:

pip install --pre xhtml2pdf


Python 2.7+. Only Python 3.4+ is tested and guaranteed to work.

All additional requirements are listed in requirements.txt file and are installed automatically using the pip install xhtml2pdf method.

Development environment

  1. If you don't have it, install pip, the python package installer:

    sudo easy_install pip

    For more information about pip refer to

  2. I will recommend using virtualenv for development. This is great to have separate environment for each project, keeping the dependencies for multiple projects separated:

    sudo pip install virtualenv

    For more information about virtualenv refer to

  3. Create virtualenv for the project. This can be inside the project directory, but cannot be under version control:

    virtualenv --distribute xhtml2pdfenv --python=python2
  4. Activate your virtualenv:

    source xhtml2pdfenv/bin/activate

    Later to deactivate use:

  5. Next step will be to install/upgrade dependencies from requirements.txt file:

    pip install -r requirements.txt
  6. Run tests to check your configuration:

    nosetests --with-coverage

    You should have a log with success status:

    Ran 36 tests in 0.322s

Python integration

Some simple demos of how to integrate xhtml2pdf into a Python program may be found here: test/

Running tests

Two different test suites are available to assert xhtml2pdf works reliably:

  1. Unit tests. The unit testing framework is currently minimal, but is being improved on a daily basis (contributions welcome). They should run in the expected way for Python's unittest module, i.e.:

    nosetests --with-coverage (or your personal favorite)
  2. Functional tests. Thanks to mawe42's super cool work, a full functional test suite lives in testrender/.



This are the major milestones and the maintainers of the project:

  • 2000-2007, commercial project,, written by Dirk Holtwich
  • 2007-2010 Dirk Holtwich (project named "Pisa", project released as GPL)
  • 2010-2012 Dirk Holtwick (project named "xhtml2pdf", changed license to Apache)
  • 2012-2015 Chris Glass (@chrisglass)
  • 2015-2016 Benjamin Bach (@benjaoming)

For more history, see the CHANGELOG.


Copyright 2010 Dirk Holtwick,

Licensed under the Apache License, Version 2.0 (the "License"); you may not use this file except in compliance with the License. You may obtain a copy of the License at

Unless required by applicable law or agreed to in writing, software distributed under the License is distributed on an "AS IS" BASIS, WITHOUT WARRANTIES OR CONDITIONS OF ANY KIND, either express or implied. See the License for the specific language governing permissions and limitations under the License.