Fix Python – Add text to Existing PDF using Python


Asked By – Frozenskys

I need to add some extra text to an existing PDF using Python, what is the best way to go about this and what extra modules will I need to install.

Note: Ideally I would like to be able to run this on both Windows and Linux, but at a push Linux only will do.

Edit: pyPDF and ReportLab look good but neither one will allow me to edit an existing PDF, are there any other options?

Now we will see solution for issue: Add text to Existing PDF using Python


I know this is an older post, but I spent a long time trying to find a solution. I came across a decent one using only ReportLab and PyPDF so I thought I’d share:

  1. read your PDF using PdfFileReader(), we’ll call this input
  2. create a new pdf containing your text to add using ReportLab, save this as a string object
  3. read the string object using PdfFileReader(), we’ll call this text
  4. create a new PDF object using PdfFileWriter(), we’ll call this output
  5. iterate through input and apply .mergePage(*text*.getPage(0)) for each page you want the text added to, then use output.addPage() to add the modified pages to a new document

This works well for simple text additions. See PyPDF’s sample for watermarking a document.

Here is some code to answer the question below:

packet = StringIO.StringIO()
can = canvas.Canvas(packet, pagesize=letter)
<do something with canvas>
input = PdfFileReader(packet)

From here you can merge the pages of the input file with another document.

This question is answered By – dwelch

This answer is collected from stackoverflow and reviewed by FixPython community admins, is licensed under cc by-sa 2.5 , cc by-sa 3.0 and cc by-sa 4.0