[Tutor] xtopdf: an open source Python project to convert other file formats to PDF

Aztech Guy aztech1200 at yahoo.com
Sat Jul 10 18:18:43 CEST 2004

Hi list,

I recently started an open source Python project with
the goal of providing ways to convert other file
formats to PDF (Portable Document Format).

The URL of the project is:


The xtopdf software has two prerequisites:

1. Python (version 2.2 or later)
2. The open source version of the ReportLab toolkit
(version 1.16 or higher).
Both are fairly small downloads. Of course, most
people reading this list would already have installed

Currently xtopdf can convert .DBF files and text files
to PDF. It's not limited to only converting standalone
text or DBF files. Because I've provided a mini-API
for reading text, reading DBF metadata and data
records, and writing them to PDF using ReportLab, you
can use these API's (methods of classes) as is, or
modify them, to do more complicated things with it.
I've given a few examples of such stuff - one shows
how to create PDF books in a simple format using the
classes in xtopdf.

Posting the news to this list (Tutor) list because its
a list for people wanting to learn about Python. I
thought the code - which is a complete, working
program - in fact several programs - could be of
interest to Python beginners who would like to look at
the source code of some complete working applications.

Also would welcome any comments on the software,
either questions about why something was done in a
certain way, or comments about improvement, or
suggestions on adding new features.

The code is quite straightforward. It doesn't make
much use of advanced features. File handling, dicts
and lists are three language features used, apart from
the ReportLab toolkit's APIs.

I've used ReportLab a little for this project and also
in general and I can recommend it as worth checking
out if you have a need (or interest) in generating PDF
from Python programs. It's also written in Python.



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