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In 2009 we added support for alpha (transparency). This works by specifying an 'alpha' value for each colour, as well as traditional red, green and blue. By default, alpha is 1.0 (i.e. not transparent).
This snippet shows two cases of rectangles overlapping. The first case uses solid colours so the red rectangle hides the one underneath it. The second case uses transparent colours so that you can see the blue rectangle through the red one.
Alpha is intended for use with RGB colours. For transparency effects in professional printing and the CMYK world, we'll publish another technique soon.
""" A simple usage of alpha (transparent) colours """ from reportlab.graphics.shapes import Rect from reportlab.pdfgen.canvas import Canvas from reportlab.lib.colors import PCMYKColor, PCMYKColorSep, Color, black, blue, red filename = 'alpha.pdf' red50transparent = Color( 100, 0, 0, alpha=0.5) c = Canvas(filename,pagesize=(400,200)) c.setFillColor(black) c.setFont('Helvetica', 10) c.drawString(25,180, 'solid') c.setFillColor(blue) c.rect(25,25,100,100, fill=True, stroke=False) c.setFillColor(red) c.rect(100,75,100,100, fill=True, stroke=False) c.setFillColor(black) c.drawString(225,180, 'transparent') c.setFillColor(blue) c.rect(225,25,100,100, fill=True, stroke=False) c.setFillColor(red50transparent) c.rect(300,75,100,100, fill=True, stroke=False) c.save()