[reportlab-users] Change PDF Version that reportlab generates

Robin Becker robin at reportlab.com
Thu Mar 10 11:55:58 EST 2016

On 10/03/2016 13:10, Volker Haas wrote:
> Hi Robin,
> thanks for your quick answer.
> To be honest I believe(!) I need no special PDF 1.6 feature, the PDF just
> needs to pass some conformance test that checks for version 1.6+.
> I could probably satisfy that easily by using some external converter but
> I'd like to avoid that.
> Are the PDF version downwards compatible, 1.4 being a "subset" of 1.6? I'll
> try to clarify if there are any specific 1.6 requirements I need.
> Cheers,
> Volker
I believe they are strictly inclusive, so each feature in the latest pdfspec 
indicates what version it arrived in; later readers are supposed to cope with 
the later features.

The code that sets the pdf version on the PDFDocument object is essentially

doc._pdfVersion = (1,3)

applied before the final rendering. Alternatively one could hack things by doing

reportlab.pdfbase.pdfdoc.PDF_VERSION_DEFAULT = (1,4)

but I find setting stuff on modules can be a bit flaky sometimes as you need to 
do it before anyone else grabs the values.

I'm not sure what extra features a document marked 1.6 is required to provide as 
I have understood the version number to indicate to renderers what may be 
present in the document.
Robin Becker

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