Converting PDF Files Using Python


PDF (Portable Document Format) is one of the most widely used formats for document sharing and storage. However, handling PDF files programmatically can be challenging. In this article, we'll explore various methods and libraries in Python that can help you convert PDF files to different formats or manipulate their content.

Popular Libraries for PDF Conversion

Installing Libraries

You can install these libraries using pip, Python's package manager. For example, to install PyPDF2:

pip install PyPDF2

Reading PDFs using PyPDF2

You can read a PDF file and extract its text using the following code snippet:

from PyPDF2 import PdfFileReader
pdf = PdfFileReader(open("example.pdf", "rb"))
page = pdf.getPage(0)

Converting PDF to Text using pdfminer.six

With pdfminer.six, you can extract text from a PDF and save it in a text file:

from pdfminer.high_level import extract_text
text = extract_text('example.pdf')
with open('output.txt', 'w') as f:

Converting PDF to Images

PDF files can also be converted into images using libraries such as Wand or pdf2image. The following snippet uses pdf2image:

from pdf2image import convert_from_path
images = convert_from_path('example.pdf')
for i, image in enumerate(images):'page_{i + 1}.png', 'PNG')

Creating PDFs with ReportLab

ReportLab is another versatile library that not only allows manipulation of existing PDFs but can also create new ones:

from reportlab.lib.pagesizes import letter
from reportlab.pdfgen import canvas
c = canvas.Canvas("example.pdf", pagesize=letter)
c.drawString(100, 750, "Hello, World!")


Python offers a plethora of libraries for handling PDF files, ranging from PyPDF2 for basic manipulation to more specialized ones like pdfminer.six for text extraction and ReportLab for creating PDFs from scratch. Depending on your needs, you can choose the library that best suits your project.