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A simple Django app to render Latex templates and compile them into PDF files.

Project description

django-tex

django-tex is a simple Django app to render LaTeX templates and compile them into PDF files.

Django-tex requires a local LaTeX installation and uses the jinja2 templating engine for template rendering.

Installation

django-tex is available on pypi.org. It can be installed by:

pip install django_tex

Quick start

  1. Add "django_tex" to your INSTALLED_APPS setting:
INSTALLED_APPS = [
    ...
    'django_tex',
]
  1. Configure a template engine named tex in settings.py:
TEMPLATES = [
    {
        'NAME': 'tex',
        'BACKEND': 'django_tex.engine.TeXEngine', 
        'APP_DIRS': True,
    },
]
  1. Create a LaTeX template in your template directory:
# test.tex
\documentclass{article}

\begin{document}

\section{ {{- foo -}} }

\end{document}
  1. Use "compile_template_to_pdf" in your code to get the PDF file as a bytes object:
from django_tex.core import compile_template_to_pdf

template_name = 'test.tex'
context = {'foo': 'Bar'}
PDF = compile_template_to_pdf(template_name, context)

Or use render_to_pdf to generate a HTTPResponse containing the PDF file:

from django_tex.shortcuts import render_to_pdf

def view(request):
    template_name = 'test.tex'
    context = {'foo': 'Bar'}
    return render_to_pdf(request, template_name, context, filename='test.pdf')

Some notes on usage

Latex binary

The default LaTeX interpreter is set to lualatex. This can be changed by the setting LATEX_INTERPRETER, for instance: LATEX_INTERPRETER = 'pdflatex'. Of course, the interpreter needs to be installed on your system for django-tex to work properly.

Interpreter arguments

You can pass additional arguments to the latex interpreter by using the LATEX_INTERPRETER_OPTIONS setting.

Whitespace control

Since django-tex uses jinja, you can use jinja's whitespace control in LaTeX templates. For example, \section{ {{ foo }} } would be rendered as \section{ Bar } with the above context; \section{ {{- foo -}} }, however, gets rendered nicely as \section{Bar}.

Built-in filters

Django's built-in filters are available. So you can use {{ foo|date('d. F Y') }} to get 1. Januar 2018, for instance.

Further, django-tex adds the custom filter localize to the jinja environment. This runs its input through django.utils.formats.localize_input to create a localized representation. The output depends on the USE_L10N and LANGUAGE_CODE settings. Use the filter like this: {{ foo|localize }}.

If you want to convert linebreaks into LaTeX linebreaks (\\), use the linebreaks filter ({{ foo | linebreaks }}).

Escaping LaTeX special characters

To escape LaTeX special characters, use the escape_latex filter. This escapes the following characters: &$%#_{}. Please note Jinja's autoescaping is turned off in the default django-tex environment.

Custom filters

Custom filters can be defined as explained in the jinja documentation here. For example, the following filter formats a datetime.timedelta object as a hh:mm string:

def hhmm_format(value):
    total_seconds = value.total_seconds()
    hours, remainder = divmod(total_seconds, 3600)
    minutes, seconds = divmod(remainder, 60)
    return '{:n}:{:02n}'.format(hours, minutes)

The filter has to be added to a custom environment and the django-tex templating engine has to be made aware of the environment. This can be achieved, for example, by defining a custom environment callable in an environment.py module in your app:

# environment.py
from django_tex.environment import environment

def hhmm_format(value):
    pass # as above

def my_environment(**options):
    env = environment(**options)
    env.filters.update({
        'hhmm_format': hhmm_format
    })
    return env

... and passing the dotted path to my_environment to the TEMPLATES settings:

# settings.py

TEMPLATES = [
    {
        'NAME': 'tex',
        'BACKEND': 'django_tex.engine.TeXEngine', 
        'APP_DIRS': True,
        'OPTIONS': {
            'environment': 'myapp.environment.my_environment',
        }
    },
]

Including graphics files

Graphics can be included in LaTeX documents using the \includegraphics{<filename>} command provided by the graphicx package. Normally, LaTeX looks for graphics files in the current working directory, i.e. the directory including the source .tex file. The problem here is that django-tex creates a temporary directory to store the source file so that the LaTeX compiler does not see any graphics files provided by the Django application. This problem can be solved by specifying the absolute path to one or more directories including the graphics files using the \graphicspath command.

Django-tex allows the user to specify the absolute paths to one or more directories in the LATEX_GRAPHICSPATH setting. This setting should contain a list of one or more paths:

# settings.py

LATEX_GRAPHICSPATH = ['c:\foo\bar', 'c:\bar\foo']

Of course, a good way of constructing those paths is to use os.path.join(BASE_DIR, <path>).

Using the template tag {% graphicspath %}, the correct \graphicspath command can be inserted into the .tex template. In the above case, {% graphicspath %} turns into \graphicspath{ {"c:/foo/bar/"} {"c:/bar/foo/"} }. Use
{% graphicspath %} like this:

\documentclass{article}
\usepackage{graphicx}

{% graphicspath %}

\begin{document}

\includegraphics{foo}

\end{document}

If LATEX_GRAPHICSPATH is not specified, django-tex takes the BASE_DIR instead.

Note: There might be a problem if the path to the graphics directory contains whitespaces. To my knowledge, lualatex cannot handle whitespaces in the \graphicspath command, but pdflatex can.

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