Best » Best PyPDF2 Alternatives (2023) for more powerful and flexible

Best PyPDF2 Alternatives (2023) for more powerful and flexible

There are several excellent alternatives to the PyPDF2 Python library for working with PDFs.

by Edmund Blake & Robert Barnes
9 minutes read
Best PyPDF2 Alternatives

PyPDF2, which I’ve worked with, is an excellent Python utility for creating PDFs. The PDF library that comes with Python enables users to read and write PDF files. PyPDF2 was the tool I turned to whenever I needed to program PDF manipulation. There are other options accessible to users of Windows, Linux, Mac OS X, web-based applications, and iPhone apps as alternatives to PyPDF2. PDF24 Creator is an excellent option that is free to use. It provides free access to a variety of PDF editing features.

Adobe Acrobat DC, the primary PDF editor used in the business, provides users with more sophisticated capabilities and a more complete PDF editing experience. PyPDF2’s competitors PDFsam, Master PDF Editor, and PDFTK Builder are all worthy replacements. Because each of these tools possesses a unique set of benefits, you will be able to select the one that best suits your needs.

The majority of alternatives to PyPDF2 are PDF editors; however, several of these programs can also read PDFs and scan documents. You can find certain characteristics or reduce the number of possibilities available with the aid of filters. In this approach, you will be able to select the PDF editing tool that is most appropriate for your requirements and previous experience.

Why Look for PyPDF2 Alternatives?

First, let me explain why, based on my personal experience, you might want to consider looking at other solutions rather than using PyPDF2 before I offer some alternatives with you. PyPDF2 is a strong and effective tool; nevertheless, I’ve discovered that it does have some limits, which, depending on the context, might be a little bit frustrating at times.

The inability to support more advanced PDF features, editing capabilities that are fairly limited, and a learning curve that can be somewhat steep when dealing with more complex tasks are some of these limitations. I would suggest looking into alternative libraries, which I have found to be more adaptable and user-friendly in my own experience, as a means of overcoming these problems and discovering new potential.

Best PyPDF2 Alternatives

In my experience, PyPDF2 has been a trustworthy PDF tool for Python coders. However, I’ve used PyPDF2 alternatives for various reasons. I sometimes required more features, greater performance, or a new PDF perspective. I’ll discuss several wonderful PyPDF2 alternatives that have helped me work faster on PDFs in this article.


Best PyPDF2 Alternatives


  • Text and layout analysis.
  • Support for multiple encryption schemes.
  • Command-line utility for easy extraction.
  • Compatible with both Python 2 and 3.

This Python library has built a strong name for itself thanks to the sophisticated PDF processing capabilities it possesses. The extraction of text, photos, and metadata from PDF files is one area in which I’ve found it to be extremely effective. PDFMiner.six is the application I turn to whenever I need to perform text analysis or extract data from PDF files. It is also notable for its support of a wide variety of encryption algorithms and for the intuitive command-line interface that it provides.

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The Good

  1. Accurate text extraction.
  2. Handles complex PDF structures.
  3. Active development and community support.

The Bad

  1. Limited support for PDF creation and editing.


Best PyPDF2 Alternatives


  • Rendering PDF pages as images.
  • Text extraction and searching.
  • PDF modification (add annotations, watermark, etc.).
  • Conversion to various formats.

PyMuPDF is an extremely flexible PDF library, which enables me to use it for a wide range of projects. When it comes to rendering content from PDF files, it is incredibly quick as well as accurate. PyMuPDF never fails to provide me with outstanding results, regardless of whether I need to read, edit, or convert PDFs into alternative forms such as graphics or text. Because of its adaptability, it will be an invaluable asset in my toolkit.

The Good

  1. Blazing-fast PDF rendering.
  2. Comprehensive PDF manipulation capabilities.
  3. Support for both Python 2 and 3.

The Bad

  1. Learning curve for complex tasks.


Best PyPDF2 Alternatives


  • PDF document creation from scratch.
  • Extensive customization options.
  • Support for charts and graphics.
  • Integration with Django and web frameworks.

ReportLab is my go-to library for generating and personalizing PDF publications because of its extensive customization options. I have made extensive use of it to generate complicated PDFs from scratch, including documents that contain dynamic content such as graphs and charts. When it comes to projects that call for the generation of individualized invoices, reports, or other documents of any kind with a special layout, ReportLab is my first choice.

The Good

  1. Fine-grained control over PDF content.
  2. Ideal for generating branded documents.
  3. Active community and documentation.

The Bad

  1. Limited support for PDF extraction or manipulation.


Best PyPDF2 Alternatives


  • PDF editing (add, delete, or modify pages).
  • Encryption and decryption support.
  • Efficient handling of large PDF files.
  • Pythonic API for ease of use.

Although it is still relatively young, pikepdf has quickly become one of the most used PDF manipulation tools in my workflow due to its ease of use and high performance. It was developed on top of the QPDF library and provides a Pythonic interface, which makes it extremely easy to work with PDF files. PikePDF has shown to be a dependable and user-friendly option for me if I need to extract information from PDFs, change PDFs, or manipulate PDFs in any other way.

The Good

  1. User-friendly API.
  2. Efficient memory usage.
  3. Actively maintained.

The Bad

  1. Limited support for text extraction.


Best PyPDF2 Alternatives


  • PDF creation and editing.
  • Text and image extraction.
  • Simple and clean API.
  • No external dependencies.

PDFKit is the program I turn to when I need PDF tasks to be simpler without compromising capability. It is a little Python module that streamlines activities that are typically performed with PDF files. Because of its user-friendly application programming interface (API), it is a fantastic alternative for me if I need a straightforward method of manipulating PDF files. PDFKit makes all of my PDF work quite easy, whether I’m combining, splitting, or carrying out one of the many other basic operations.

The Good

  1. Minimal learning curve.
  2. Lightweight and fast.
  3. Suitable for small to medium-sized projects.

The Bad

  1. Limited advanced features.

Questions and Answers

Which is better PyPDF2 or PyPDF4?

The fact that newer versions of PyPDF were compatible with Python3 was the most notable distinction between them and earlier versions. PyPDF2 was recently discontinued as a viable option. However, due to the fact that PyPDF4 is not fully backward compatible with PyPDf2, it is recommended that you make use of PyPDF2.

What are the limitations of PyPDF2?

However, unlike Python, which can write arbitrary text to plaintext files, PyPDF2 cannot write text to PDF files. Instead, PyPDF2’s PDF-writing capabilities are limited to copying pages from other PDFs, rotating pages, overlaying pages, and encrypting files. Other PDFs can be used as sources for the copied pages. PyPDF2 does not provide the capability to directly edit a PDF file.

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