Trafilatura evolves over time, make sure you have the latest version to benefit from all documentation pages. The software is thoroughly tested but rare problems remain difficult to replicate as they are linked to a particular setting/OS/IP. For the rest, see the list of open issues

Content extraction#

Something is missing#

The extractor uses several fallbacks to make sure enough text is returned. Content extraction is a tradeoff between precision and recall, that is between desired and undesirable content. Being ready to accept more unwanted text makes it easier to gather more of the relevant text in the output. Here are ways to tackle the issue:

  • Opting for favor_recall (Python) or --recall (CLI)

  • Changing the minimum acceptable length in the settings

  • Using the more basic baseline or html2txt functions instead (which is also faster)


Trafilatura is geared towards article pages, blog posts, main text parts, etc. Results vary wildly on link lists, galleries or catalogs.

Beyond raw HTML#

While downloading and processing raw HTML documents is much faster, it can be necessary to fully render the web page before further processing, e.g. because a page makes exhaustive use of JavaScript or because content is injected from multiple sources.

In such cases the way to go is to use a browser automation library like Playwright. For available alternatives see this list of headless browsers.

For more refined masking and automation methods, see the nodriver and browserforge packages.

Bypassing paywalls#

A browser automation library can also be useful to bypass issues related to cookies and paywalls as it can be combined with a corresponding browser extension, e.g. iamdamdev’s bypass-paywalls-chrome or this alternative by magnolia1234.


HTTP library#

In the default settings Trafilatura identifies itself in the User-Agent header. It may have been compromised by others on certain websites and thus blocked, see this discussion.

For various reasons, it is also possible that the standard download utility doesn’t come through. Using another one is then an option (see pycurl with Python and wget or curl on the command-line).

  • Installing the additional download utility pycurl manually or using pip3 install trafilatura[all] can alleviate the problem: another download library is used, leading to different results.

  • Several alternatives are available on the command-line, e.g. wget -O - "my_url" | trafilatura instead of trafilatura -u "my_url".

  • Emulating a browser is also possible, see the information on headless browsing above.


Downloads may fail because your IP or user agent are blocked. Trafilatura’s crawling and download capacities do not bypass such restrictions.

Managing cookies#

The standard library cookiejar can be used along urllib3 in order to use cookies along with HTTP requests, see this documentation pull request.

Alternatively, cookies can be manually specified in a settings.cfg config file, separated by semicolons, e.g. COOKIE = yummy_cookie=choco; tasty_cookie=strawberry.

Download first and extract later#

Since the they have distinct characteristics it can be useful to separate the infrastructure needed for download from the extraction. Using a custom IP or network infrastructure can also prevent your usual IP from getting banned.

For an approach using files from the Common Crawl and Trafilatura, see the external tool datatrove/