rmrl: reMarkable Rendering Library

rmrl is a Python library for rendering reMarkable documents to PDF files. It takes the original PDF document and the files describing your annotations, combining them to produce a document close to what reMarkable itself would output.


The same notebook was rendered to a PDF via the reMarkable app and rmrl. The resultant PDF files were converted to PNGs with ImageMagick at 300 dpi.

reMarkable output rmrl output
reMarkable rmrl

The biggest differences are the lack of texture in the pencils and paintbrush, which we hope to address in the future. Two differences are intentional:

  • The highlight color is more saturated, since we feel the default color is too subtle.
  • The grid lines from the template are less saturated, to better reflect the appearance on the device. This is configurable.


rmrl requires Python 3.7 or later. If that’s installed, the easiest installation is to do a

pip install rmrl

Alternatively, you may clone this repository. Poetry is used for development, so once that is installed you can run

poetry install

to get a virtual environment all set up.


The main interface to rmrl is through a single function:

from rmrl import render

output = render(source)

source may be:

  • The filename of a zip file containing the document.
  • The filename of any (root-level) file from an unpacked document.
  • Any object that provides open() and exists() methods. See rmrl/sources.py for more details on this API.

The output is a filestream with the contents of the PDF file.

The render function takes the following keyword arguments:

  • progress_cb: A callback function to be called periodically during the rendering process. It will be called with a single argument, a number from 0 to 100 indicating the progress. This function can abort the process by raising an exception.

Command-line Usage

rmrl may be called as a command-line tool. Once it has been installed, run

python -m rmrl filename

to convert filename to an annotated PDF. The default output is to stdout. Use

python -m rmrl -h

to see all of the options.


rmrl can use the reMarkable templates as a background when rendering notebooks. We cannot ship copies of these templates. You may be allowed to copy them from your own reMarkable device on to your computer for personal use. If this is legal in your jurisdiction, you may connect your device to your computer by the USB cable and run

python -m rmrl.load_templates

This will copy these templates to ~/.local/share/rmrl/templates (assuming default XDG settings).


rmrl derives from the reMarkable Connection Utility, by Davis Remmel. RCU is a full-featured GUI for managing all aspects of a reMarkable device. Do check it out if you are looking for a stand-alone solution for getting documents on and off of your device.

RCU was chosen as a base for rmrl due to its high-quality rendering. The following are the major changes:

  • rmrl is designed as a library, for incorporation into other programs. RCU is designed as a stand-alone program.
  • rmrl uses the pure-Python ReportLab Toolkit for rendering PDF files. RCU uses the Qt framework, which is a significantly heavier installation.
  • rmrl only supports vector output, while RCU offers both raster and vector rendering.
  • RCU supports PDF layers (Optional Content Groups). At this point, rmrl does not.
  • RCU can add PDF annotations corresponding to highlights. At this point, rmrl does not.


reMarkable(R) is a registered trademark of reMarkable AS. rmrl is not affiliated with, or endorsed by, reMarkable AS. The use of “reMarkable” in this work refers to the company’s e-paper tablet product(s).


Copyright (C) 2020 Davis Remmel

Copyright 2021 Robert Schroll

This program is free software: you can redistribute it and/or modify it under the terms of the GNU General Public License as published by the Free Software Foundation, either version 3 of the License, or (at your option) any later version.

This program is distributed in the hope that it will be useful, but WITHOUT ANY WARRANTY; without even the implied warranty of MERCHANTABILITY or FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE. See the GNU General Public License for more details.

You should have received a copy of the GNU General Public License along with this program. If not, see https://www.gnu.org/licenses/.