ReportLab has been around for a very long time and is one of the more popular options for generating PDFs in the Python programming language. According to its website, it receives 50,000 downloads per month and is included in many standard Linux distributions. There is both an open source version and a paid version called ReportLab PLUS.
However, despite its popularity, there are some major drawbacks to ReportLab.
- Installation required. You need to make sure you get the proper distribution depending on which operating system you are using which can be problematic if you need to distribute the application across multiple platforms.
- Complex syntax. You must use an entirely separate markup language called RML and/or build the PDF in a manual fashion via code.
- Expensive. If you want ReportLab PLUS, which is marketed as a faster and more up to date version, you have to shell out 1300 GBR annually at a minimum, and the price goes way up the more pages you need to render.
ReportLab Alternative for PDF generation in Python
Api2Pdf offers an easy-to-use Python client library which can be found on Github here. You can use the Python library to convert HTML to PDF, as well as web pages to PDF, Docx to PDF, and merge PDFs together.
There are some clear benefits to using Api2Pdf:
- No installation required. Just “pip install api2pdf” and grab your API key and you are ready to go. Since Api2Pdf is an API to convert HTML to PDF, all processing takes place on Api2Pdf’s servers.
- Serverless Architecture. Api2Pdf runs on AWS Lambda, a serverless architecture that allows our systems to scale to millions of requests at a fraction of the cost.
- HTML to PDF API. There is no complicated syntax to learn, such as RML.
- Affordable. Api2Pdf is a fraction of the cost and is the cheapest solution for converting HTML to PDF out there.