All the examples below assume that you are running inside a Python virtual environment. See: for details.

For example:

python -m venv pymupdf-venv
. pymupdf-venv/bin/activate

PyMuPDF should be installed using pip with:

python -m pip install --upgrade pip
python -m pip install --upgrade pymupdf

This will install from a Python wheel if one is available for your platform.

Installation when a suitable wheel is not available

If a suitable Python wheel is not available, pip will automatically build from source using a Python sdist.

This requires C/C++ development tools and SWIG to be installed:

  • On Unix-style systems such as Linux, OpenBSD and FreeBSD, use the system package manager to install SWIG.

    • For example on Debian Linux, do: sudo apt install swig

  • On Windows:

    • Install Visual Studio 2019. If not installed in a standard location, set environmental variable PYMUPDF_SETUP_DEVENV to the location of the binary.

      • Having other installed versions of Visual Studio, for example Visual Studio 2022, can cause problems because one can end up with MuPDF and PyMuPDF code being compiled with different compiler versions.

    • Install SWIG by following the instructions at:

  • On MacOS, install MacPorts using the instructions at:

    • Then install SWIG with: sudo port install swig

    • You may also need: sudo port install swig-python

As of PyMuPDF-1.20.0, the required MuPDF source code is already in the sdist and is automatically built into PyMuPDF.


Wheels are available for Windows (32-bit Intel, 64-bit Intel), Linux (64-bit Intel, 64-bit ARM) and Mac OSX (64-bit Intel, 64-bit ARM), Python versions 3.7 and up.

Wheels are not available for Python installed with Chocolatey on Windows. Instead install Python using the Windows installer from the website, see:

PyMuPDF does not support Python versions prior to 3.7. Older wheels can be found in this repository and on PyPI. Please note that we generally follow the official Python release schedules. For Python versions dropping out of official support this means, that generation of wheels will also be ceased for them.

There are no mandatory external dependencies. However, some optional feature are available only if additional components are installed:

  • Pillow is required for Pixmap.pil_save() and Pixmap.pil_tobytes().

  • fontTools is required for Document.subset_fonts().

  • pymupdf-fonts is a collection of nice fonts to be used for text output methods.

  • Tesseract-OCR for optical character recognition in images and document pages. Tesseract is separate software, not a Python package. To enable OCR functions in PyMuPDF, the software must be installed and the system environment variable "TESSDATA_PREFIX" must be defined and contain the tessdata folder name of the Tesseract installation location. See below.


You can install these additional components at any time – before or after installing PyMuPDF. PyMuPDF will detect their presence during import or when the respective functions are being used.

Installation from source without using an sdist

  • First get a PyMuPDF source tree:

  • Install C/C++ development tools and SWIG as described above.

  • Build and install PyMuPDF:

    cd PyMuPDF && python install

    This will automatically download a specific hard-coded MuPDF source release, and build it into PyMuPDF.


When running Python scripts that use PyMuPDF, make sure that the current directory is not the PyMuPDF/ directory.

Otherwise, confusingly, Python will attempt to import fitz from the local fitz/ directory, which will fail because it only contains source files.

Running tests

Having a PyMuPDF tree available allows one to run PyMuPDF’s pytest test suite:

pip install pytest fontTools
pytest PyMuPDF/tests

Building and testing with git checkouts of PyMuPDF and MuPDF

Things to do:

  • Install C/C++ development tools and SWIG as described above.

  • Get PyMuPDF.

  • Get MuPDF.

  • Create a Python virtual environment.

  • Build PyMuPDF with environmental variable PYMUPDF_SETUP_MUPDF_BUILD set to the path of the local MuPDF checkout.

  • Run PyMuPDF tests.

For example:

git clone -b 1.22
git clone -b 1.22.x --recursive
python -m venv pymupdf-venv
. pymupdf-venv/bin/activate
cd PyMuPDF
PYMUPDF_SETUP_MUPDF_BUILD=../mupdf python install
cd ..
pip install pytest fontTools
pytest PyMuPDF

Using a non-default MuPDF

Using a non-default build of MuPDF by setting environmental variable PYMUPDF_SETUP_MUPDF_BUILD can cause various things to go wrong and so is not generally supported:

  • If MuPDF’s major version number differs from what PyMuPDF uses by default, PyMuPDF can fail to build, because MuPDF’s API can change between major versions.

  • Runtime behaviour of PyMuPDF can change because MuPDF’s runtime behaviour changes between different minor releases. This can also break some PyMuPDF tests.

  • If MuPDF was built with its default config instead of PyMuPDF’s customised config (for example if MuPDF is a system install), it is possible that tests/ will fail. One can skip this particular test by adding -k 'not test_textbox3' to the pytest command line.

Enabling Integrated OCR Support

If you do not intend to use this feature, skip this step. Otherwise, it is required for both installation paths: from wheels and from sources.

PyMuPDF will already contain all the logic to support OCR functions. But it additionally does need Tesseract’s language support data, so installation of Tesseract-OCR is still required.

The language support folder location must currently 1 be communicated via storing it in the environment variable "TESSDATA_PREFIX".

So for a working OCR functionality, make sure to complete this checklist:

  1. Install Tesseract.

  2. Locate Tesseract’s language support folder. Typically you will find it here:
    • Windows: C:Program FilesTesseract-OCRtessdata

    • Unix systems: /usr/share/tesseract-ocr/4.00/tessdata

  3. Set the environment variable TESSDATA_PREFIX
    • Windows: set TESSDATA_PREFIX=C:Program FilesTesseract-OCRtessdata

    • Unix systems: export TESSDATA_PREFIX=/usr/share/tesseract-ocr/4.00/tessdata


This must happen outside Python – before starting your script. Just manipulating os.environ will not work!



In the next MuPDF version, it will be possible to pass this value as a parameter – directly in the OCR invocations.

This software is provided AS-IS with no warranty, either express or implied. This software is distributed under license and may not be copied, modified or distributed except as expressly authorized under the terms of that license. Refer to licensing information at or contact Artifex Software Inc., 39 Mesa Street, Suite 108A, San Francisco CA 94129, United States for further information.

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