Real Python Podcast Episode #84 Title Artwork

Episode 84: Creating and Manipulating PDFs in Python With borb

The Real Python Podcast

Oct 29, 2021 1h 1m

Have you wanted to generate PDFs from your Python project? Many of the current libraries require designing the document down at the pixel level. Would you be interested in a tool that lets you specify the page layout while it handles the specific details of laying out the text? This week on the show, we talk with Joris Schellekens about his library for creating and manipulating PDFs named borb.

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borb is a pure Python library that can read, write and manipulate PDFs. You can use it to build fillable forms, invoices with attached data files, and multiple column document layouts. We discuss the extensive example repository Joris has created for the library.

Joris shares his background in working with PDFs. He talks about starting the project and the challenges he had to overcome. We also talk about licensing and maintaining an open-source library.

Topics:

  • 00:00:00 – Introduction
  • 00:01:58 – Articles about borb
  • 00:03:25 – History of the project
  • 00:07:26 – Background in PDFs and Postscript
  • 00:09:18 – Signatures and other challenges of working in PDFs
  • 00:11:33 – Reading from PDFs and standards of versions
  • 00:14:54 – Features of the library and creating documents
  • 00:18:25 – Creating layout features
  • 00:20:42 – How are fonts handled in borb?
  • 00:21:19 – Sponsor: Cloudsmith
  • 00:22:04 – Why use JSON across the library?
  • 00:22:55 – Embedding data and files within a PDF
  • 00:25:12 – What features were crucial for you to include in borb?
  • 00:28:48 – Why creating a separate examples repository?
  • 00:31:04 – Article series about borb
  • 00:32:25 – Writing a book about borb
  • 00:33:44 – Python 3.10 and borb
  • 00:34:19 – Video Course Spotlight
  • 00:35:39 – Licensing borb and AGPL
  • 00:45:14 – Other open-source projects and Stack Overflow answers
  • 00:46:37 – Working with forms in borb
  • 00:47:55 – Additional tools for working with PDFs
  • 00:50:15 – Different users of the library
  • 00:53:36 – Thoughts on the future of PDFs
  • 00:58:10 – What are you excited about in the world of Python?
  • 00:58:40 – What do you want to learn next?
  • 01:00:25 – Social connection info
  • 01:00:46 – Thanks and goodbye

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