Beautiful Soup (HTML parser)

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Beautiful Soup
Original author(s)Leonard Richardson
Initial release2004 (2004)
Stable release
4.11.1[1] Edit this on Wikidata / 8 April 2022; 3 months ago (8 April 2022)
Written inPython
TypeHTML parser library, Web scraping
LicensePython Software Foundation License (Beautiful Soup 3 - an older version) MIT License 4+[2]

Beautiful Soup is a Python package for parsing HTML and XML documents (including having malformed markup, i.e. non-closed tags, so named after tag soup). It creates a parse tree for parsed pages that can be used to extract data from HTML,[3] which is useful for web scraping.[2]

Beautiful Soup was started by Leonard Richardson, who continues to contribute to the project,[4] and is additionally supported by Tidelift, a paid subscription to open-source maintenance.[5]

It is available for Python 2.7 and Python 3.

Code example[edit]

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

Advantages and disadvantages of parsers[edit]

This table summarizes the advantages and disadvantages of each parser library[2]

Parser Typical usage Advantages Disadvantages
Python’s html.parser BeautifulSoup(markup, "html.parser")
  • Moderately fast
  • Lenient (As of Python 2.7.3 and 3.2.)
  • Not as fast as lxml, less lenient than html5lib.
lxml’s HTML parser BeautifulSoup(markup, "lxml")
  • Very fast
  • Lenient
  • External C dependency
lxml’s XML parser

BeautifulSoup(markup, "lxml-xml")
BeautifulSoup(markup, "xml")

  • Very fast
  • The only currently supported XML parser
  • External C dependency
html5lib BeautifulSoup(markup, "html5lib")
  • Extremely lenient
  • Parses pages the same way a web browser does
  • Creates valid HTML5
  • Very slow
  • External Python dependency


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. Beautiful Soup 4 can be installed with pip install beautifulsoup4.

See also[edit]


  1. ^; retrieved: 29 June 2022.
  2. ^ a b c "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. ^ "Code : Leonard Richardson". Launchpad. Retrieved 2020-09-19.
  5. ^ Tidelift. "beautifulsoup4 | pypi via the Tidelift Subscription". Retrieved 2020-09-19.