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A certificate generator, from a SVG to a lot of PDFs

Project description

A certificate generator, from a SVG to a lot of PDFs

How to use it as a lib

Install certg from PyPI and then…

>>> import certg
>>> certg.process(

… where all those mandatory parameters have the same meaning that if you have them in the YAML config (see below).

Optionally, you can also pass the following parameters:

  • progress_cb: a function to be called before processing each item (passing the item about to be processed); very useful to report progress.
  • pdf_optimized: if True, Ghostscript will be called to improve the final PDF file.
  • images: replacing information for images (see below)

Some usage examples

Get the code, and run:

bin/certg examples/certificate.yaml

The example_certificate.yaml is included in the project, with the other file it uses: example_certificate.svg.

After successful execution, you will get three .pdf files, the result of the generation.

Here’s other example that inserts different images in the outputs:

bin/certg examples/carnet.yaml

Finally, if you want to check a code that uses certg programatically, replacing several fields and multiple images in the SVG, see this real life code.

What do you need to have installed

Check requirements.txt file for needed Python modules.

At system level, you need Inkscape to be installed. Also, if you want to optimize the resulting PDF, you need Ghostscript installed (gs).

How to really use it, for your specific needs

You need to create two files: the configuration, and the source SVG. Here’s a deep explanation of how it all works, but remember you can get the examples provided and start tweaking them :)

The source SVG is the SVG you want to transform into PDFs, but with some indications for text to be replaced in. These indications are between curly brackets. For example, you may have:

Thanks {{name}} for all your {{type_of_doing}}!

Then, in the configuration file you have a replace_info variable: it’s a list of dictionaries. Each dictionary will produce a generated PDF with the info replaced, and the keys/values in that dictionary will be the info to replace.

Note that you need to provide in the config all the attributes to replace; for example:

name: Foo Bar
type_of_doing: support

Furthermore, in the config you have some mandatory variables you need to fill. Those are:

  • svg_source: the filename of the SVG you created
  • result_prefix: the prefix of the PDFs’ filenames that will be generated
  • result_distinct: the name of the variable in the replacing attributes used as a distinct string for the PDFs.

For example, if you put certs as the prefix and name as the distinct value, you’ll get as output a file named certs-foobar.pdf.

There are some optional variables for different configurations, currently:

  • pdf_optimized: it will run Ghoscript (gs, which you need to have installed in the system) to optimize the resulting PDF.

Replacing images

If you want to replace images, you need to indicate a separate images structure that will provide the relevant info.

This structure will be a list containing as many items as images you want to replace in the SVG file (NOT the quantity of PDFs you want to generate). Each item will be a dict holding:

  • rectangle_id: the id in the SVG of the rectangle you want to replace (e.g. ‘rect19351’); you can get it seeing the “object properties” in Inkscape, or as a last resource inspecting the SVG source.
  • path_variable: how are you naming the attribute (in the general replacing information described above) that will hold the path to the image to be replaced for each of the PDFs you want to generate.


  • placement: how the real image will be placed in relation to the rectangle defined in the SVG. In any case, the image will not exceed the boundaries defined by the rectangle. It can be any of the following:
    • stretch (the default): the image will be accommodated to fill the whole rectangle, changing its relation aspect if needed.
    • center: the image’s center will match the rectangle’s center

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