PDFiD - a Python module to analyze and sanitize PDF files

PDF files may be used to trigger malicious content, as described here. PDFiD is a Python tool to analyze and sanitize PDF files, written by Didier Stevens. Here is PDFiD_PL, a version that I have slightly modified so that it can be imported as a module in Python applications (originally for ExeFilter).


The modified version is named pdfid_PL.py. The main differences with the original tool are in the PDFiD function:

def PDFiD(file, allNames=False, extraData=False, disarm=False, force=False,
    output_file=None, raise_exceptions=False, return_cleaned=False,

The following parameters have been added:

  • output_file: path of output file to be created.
  • raise_exceptions: raise an exception when a parsing error happens, instead of ignoring it.
  • return_cleaned: return a tuple (xmlDoc, cleaned), where cleaned=True if the PDF contained active content which has been cleaned.
  • active_keywords: list of PDF tags to be disabled. Default value: ('/JS', '/JavaScript', '/AA', '/OpenAction', '/JBIG2Decode', '/RichMedia', '/Launch')

All these parameters are optional, so that pdfid_PL.py runs exactly like the original pdfid.py when they are not set.


pdfid_PL is updated each time Didier Stevens modifies pdfid:

  • 2010-06-15 v0.0.11b: fixed a bug that happened when using return_cleaned
  • 2010-05-02 v0.0.11: added /Launch to list of keywords to be disabled.
  • 2010-01-11 v0.0.10: relaxed %PDF header checking
  • 2009-10-19 v0.0.9: updated from pdfid v0.0.9
  • 2009-10-09 v0.0.7: initial version based on pdfid v0.0.7.


Pick the attached file below.

Alternatively, you may get the latest version from the ExeFilter SVN.

Sample usage

import pdfid_PL as pdfid
xmldoc, cleaned = pdfid.PDFiD('file.pdf', disarm=True, output_file='cleaned.pdf', 
raise_exceptions=True, return_cleaned=True) 
if cleaned: print 'PDF has been cleaned.'
else: print 'PDF is clean.'



pdfid_PL_0.0.9.zip5.75 KB
pdfid_PL_0.0.10.zip5.88 KB
pdfid_PL_0.0.11.zip5.93 KB
pdfid_PL-0.0.11b.zip8.3 KB