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How to render HTML to PDF in a Python Django site?

To render HTML to PDF in a Python Django site, we can create our own function.

For instance, we write

import cStringIO as StringIO
from xhtml2pdf import pisa
from django.template.loader import get_template
from django.template import Context
from django.http import HttpResponse
from cgi import escape

def render_to_pdf(template_src, context_dict):
    template = get_template(template_src)
    context = Context(context_dict)
    html  = template.render(context)
    result = StringIO.StringIO()

    pdf = pisa.pisaDocument(StringIO.StringIO(html.encode("ISO-8859-1")), result)
    if not pdf.err:
        return HttpResponse(result.getvalue(), content_type='application/pdf')
    return HttpResponse('We had some errors<pre>%s</pre>' % escape(html))

to define the render_to_pdf function that uses the pisa.pisaDocument constructor to create the PDF from the html string.

We get html from render the template with the context to a HTML string.

Then we create a new HttpResponse that returns the PDF file as the response.

We set the content_type to application/pdf.

And we render result.getvalue to return the PDF.

Then in our view, we add

def myview(request):
    return render_to_pdf(
                'mylist': results,

to render the mytemplate.html template into a PDF and return it as the response with render_to_pdf.

And then in mytemplate.html, we write

        <title>My Title</title>
        <style type="text/css">
            @page {
                size: {{ pagesize }};
                margin: 1cm;
                @frame footer {
                    -pdf-frame-content: footerContent;
                    bottom: 0cm;
                    margin-left: 9cm;
                    margin-right: 9cm;
                    height: 1cm;
            {% for item in mylist %}
                RENDER MY CONTENT
            {% endfor %}
        <div id="footerContent">
            {%block page_foot%}
                Page <pdf:pagenumber>
Posted in Python, Python Answers