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Developer(s) ReportLab Europe Ltd.
Initial release June 20, 2000 (2000-06-20) (0.94)[1]
Stable release

3.6.12  (July 12, 2022; 6 months ago (2022-07-12))

Preview release None [±]
Written in Python
Operating system Cross-platform
Type Document generation
License(s) Proprietary license

ReportLab is a free open-source document creation engine for generating PDF documents and custom vector graphics. It has been available in a free open-source version since 2000; however, the company also offers a commercial version of the product called ReportLab PLUS.

Product history

ReportLab has its origins through the creation of New York-based ReportLab, Inc. in January 2000. However, plans for ReportLab evolved before that, with an open-source project starting on Sourceforge in December 1999.[2] The founders of the company saw a need for document-generation technology that would meet the growing needs of businesses.[3] The first known stable version is 0.94, released on June 20, 2000, with a 1.0 version arriving a month later.[1]

In 2001 the company moved its operations to London and began operation as ReportLab Europe Ltd.[3] A flurry of releases were made between 2001 and 2005. As the software matured, releases of the open-source version slowed to an average of one a year. The open-source ReportLab is still developed and offered as of June 2015.

In April 2020, BitBucket announced it would be sunsetting Mercurial support for repos[4], which forced the public open-source repository from BitBucket to ReportLab's own site.[5]


The main features of the free open-source ReportLab[6]:

  • graphics canvas API that "draws" PDF pages
  • charts and widgets library for creating reusable data graphics
  • page layout engine builds documents from elements such as headlines, paragraphs, fonts, tables and vector graphics
  • automatic production
  • generate multiple PDFs at the same time
  • Diagra charting toolkit

Hardware/software requirements

Prerequisites include:

  • Python (versions 2.7, 3.3, or 3.4)
  • an updated Python package installer (pip)

Other prerequisites may exist, depending on the operating system you wish to install it on. Consult the installation guide or old installation instructions for more information.

Videos, screenshots, and other media

  • A wide variety of documentation, including a user guide and tutorials, can be found here.

Entities using ReportLab

The following entities are known to have used some form of ReportLab[7]:

Allenbridge, Fidelity, Hewlett Packard, Hilton Hotels, Langham Hotels, NASA, Newcastle University, Oxfam, REIS, University College London, Wikipedia, Zhone Technologies

Further reading

External links


  1. 1.0 1.1 "reportlab / CHANGES.txt". ReportLab Europe Ltd. Retrieved 21 May 2014. 
  2. "ReportLab". Sourceforge. Retrieved 21 May 2014. 
  3. 3.0 3.1 "About ReportLab". ReportLab Europe Ltd. Retrieved 27 August 2020. 
  4. Chan, D. (21 April 2020). "Sunsetting Mercurial support in Bitbucket". BitBucket. Retrieved 26 August 2020. 
  5. "Mercurial". ReportLab Europe Ltd. Retrieved 27 August 2020. 
  6. "Open Source". ReportLab Europe Ltd. Retrieved 27 August 2020. 
  7. "Case Studies". ReportLab Europe Ltd. Retrieved 27 August 2020.