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Beautiful Soup (HTML parser)

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Beautiful Soup
Original author(s)Leonard Richardson
Initial release2004 (2004)
Stable release
4.12.3[1] Edit this on Wikidata / 17 January 2024; 5 months ago (17 January 2024)
Written inPython
TypeHTML parser library, Web scraping

Beautiful Soup is a Python package for parsing HTML and XML documents, including those with malformed markup. It creates a parse tree for documents that can be used to extract data from HTML,[3] which is useful for web scraping.[2][4]


Beautiful Soup was started in 2004 by Leonard Richardson.[citation needed] It takes its name from the poem Beautiful Soup from Alice's Adventures in Wonderland[5] and is a reference to the term "tag soup" meaning poorly-structured HTML code.[6] Richardson continues to contribute to the project,[7] which is additionally supported by paid open-source maintainers from the company Tidelift.[8]


Beautiful Soup 3 was the official release line of Beautiful Soup from May 2006 to March 2012. The current release is Beautiful Soup 4.x.

In 2021, Python 2.7 support was retired and the release 4.9.3 was the last to support Python 2.7.[9]


Beautiful Soup represents parsed data as a tree which can be searched and iterated over with ordinary Python loops.[10]

Code example[edit]

The example below uses the Python standard library's urllib[11] to load Wikipedia's main page, then uses Beautiful Soup to parse the document and search for all links within.

#!/usr/bin/env python3
# Anchor extraction from HTML document
from bs4 import BeautifulSoup
from urllib.request import urlopen
with urlopen('https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Main_Page') as response:
    soup = BeautifulSoup(response, 'html.parser')
    for anchor in soup.find_all('a'):
        print(anchor.get('href', '/'))

Another example is using the Python requests library[12] to get divs on a URL.

import requests
from bs4 import BeautifulSoup

url = 'https://wikipedia.com'
response = requests.get(url)
soup = BeautifulSoup(response.text, 'html.parser')
headings = soup.find_all('div')

for heading in headings:

See also[edit]


  1. ^ https://git.launchpad.net/beautifulsoup/tree/CHANGELOG. Retrieved 18 January 2024. {{cite web}}: Missing or empty |title= (help)
  2. ^ a b "Beautiful Soup website". Retrieved 18 April 2012. Beautiful Soup is licensed under the same terms as Python itself
  3. ^ Hajba, Gábor László (2018), Hajba, Gábor László (ed.), "Using Beautiful Soup", Website Scraping with Python: Using BeautifulSoup and Scrapy, Apress, pp. 41–96, doi:10.1007/978-1-4842-3925-4_3, ISBN 978-1-4842-3925-4
  4. ^ Python, Real. "Beautiful Soup: Build a Web Scraper With Python – Real Python". realpython.com. Retrieved 2023-06-01.
  5. ^ makcorps (2022-12-13). "BeautifulSoup tutorial: Let's Scrape Web Pages with Python". Retrieved 2024-01-24.
  6. ^ "Python Web Scraping". Udacity. 2021-02-11. Retrieved 2024-01-24.
  7. ^ "Code : Leonard Richardson". Launchpad. Retrieved 2020-09-19.
  8. ^ Tidelift. "beautifulsoup4 | pypi via the Tidelift Subscription". tidelift.com. Retrieved 2020-09-19.
  9. ^ Richardson, Leonard (7 Sep 2021). "Beautiful Soup 4.10.0". beautifulsoup. Google Groups. Retrieved 27 September 2022.
  10. ^ "How To Scrape Web Pages with Beautiful Soup and Python 3 | DigitalOcean". www.digitalocean.com. Retrieved 2023-06-01.
  11. ^ Python, Real. "Python's urllib.request for HTTP Requests – Real Python". realpython.com. Retrieved 2023-06-01.
  12. ^ Blog, SerpApi. "Beautiful Soup: Web Scraping with Python". serpapi.com. Retrieved 2024-06-27.