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Reportlab: PDF Processing with Python

Learn how to create PDFs using the popular Python programming language and the Report Lab toolkit


Have you ever wondered how to create PDFs programmatically? Then this may be the book for you! In ReportLab: PDF Processing with Python, you will learn how to generate PDFs using the popular Python programming language. The code in this book will run on all 3 major platforms:

  • Windows

  • Mac

  • Linux

ReportLab is used by Wikipedia, NASA, Fidelity, HP and many other large and small organizations. 

ReportLab is fast and reliable. I have been using it for the past 10+ years professionally. It's also quite easy to learn. In this book you will learn all you need to know to generate your own PDFs.

Here's a sample of just some of things you will learn:

  • How to embed fonts

  • Generate multipage documents

  • Add tables

  • Insert photos

  • Add graphs to your PDF

  • Add barcodes to your PDF

  • Draw shapes

  • Generate multi-column pages

  • Tutorials on generating specific complex examples

This book will be split into two main parts. 

The first part will contain pretty thorough coverage of the various parts of ReportLab. 

The second part will be a short series of chapters on how to create various layouts with ReportLab. This includes generating reports from data, such as XML, CSV or JSON.

I am also planning a section (or series of appendices) of the book that will introduce you to other Python PDF packages such as PyPDF2 and rst2pdf and how you might use them.

Release Date

I am planning to release the book in June, 2018

Writing Style 

This book will be written using my original blogging style. What this means is that the chapters will probably be shorter than most programming books (i.e. less than 20 in most cases). However the code examples in some cases may end up being longer in general so the chapter page count could be more than Python 101.

I still follow the rule of giving simple examples paired with simple explanations instead of spending an inordinate amount of time re-explaining the same subject over and over.

If you've never read anything of mine before, you can download Python 101 for free or read itonline.

Who should read this book?

This book is for someone who already uses Python and would like to learn how to use Python to generate and work with PDFs. If you want to know how to programmatically generate great looking reports, then this book might be for you!

What's the money for?

ISBNs cost money, especially if you have multiple formats of the book (paperback, PDF, mobi, etc). The money will also cover the initial print run of the book for the backers. It will also cover copyright registration and the cost of my illustrator. It would be great if I could do some web advertising as well. I'm looking forward to working with my backers to make the best Python book possible!

About the Author

I'm a professional full time Python programmer by day and Python blogger by night. I've been programming almost exclusively in Python for almost 10 years. I co-authored Core Python for DZone. I also ran a successful campaign for my other three books:

Book formats 

The finished book will be made available in the following formats:

  • paperback (at the appropriate perk level) 

  • PDF 

  • mobi 

  • epub

Risks and challenges

Frankly I don't see much of a risk. The book shouldn't have any major delays and I hope to finish it early if possible.

However the unexpected does happen which is why I have given myself a buffer until June to finish the book. I am confident that I can meet that goal or exceed it.

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