Scrape Data from PDF Documents

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PDF documents are ubiquitous in many industries as the format allows publisher to present documents on a variety and multitude of readers, from emails, fax to all mobile.

It is inherent in the nature of PDF that the publisher typically does not want the receiver to make digital use of the data contained within the PDF file. This is why in certain applications that require to incorporate data embedded in a PDF file it is necessary to scrape the data from PDF documents directly.

PDF documentation is used in a variety of business applications that include but are not limited to the following:

  • Collation
  • Scripting
  • Extensible document and content-level metadata
  • Watermarking
  • Attached content
  • Accessibility
  • Archival quality control
  • Content re-use
  • Redaction
  • Security and authenticity
  • Page management
  • 3D, video and other rich content
  • Annotations and fillable forms

Therefore with these many users of the PDF format it also comes an overarching popularity on the web. In fact based on our research on google search analytics we discovered that at the time of this writing PDF leads may other formats by far. A pie charts representing the different relative percentage for the  type of document formats indexed on google search is offered here :

Web Pages Containing PDF Documents on the web

Likewise the presence of PDF documents on the web has been on a increase trajectory for over a decade now, and this is illustrated in the bar chart below ( source Google search) :

Growth of PDF Documents on the web in the last decade

These trends demonstrate that a sizable portion of documentation present in the web in only available in the PDF format. This makes it challenging to extract data from these pdf pages and also PDF files stored in the various applications. Inherently search for business intelligence on pdf files is also on the rise.

Data extraction from PDF files can happen in a variety of ways. The intrinsic specifics of the PDF format make the data scraping on pdf documents different from web scraping . Likewise the tools for scrape data from pdf documents are different from the web scraping tools.

Scraping data from PDF documents can be focused on Textual data or on identification and extraction of structures such as pdf tables, charts, infographics and numerical data within the text.

Textual data can be extracted as they are inside the PDf by using powerful and precise PDF parsers, often referred to as pdf to txt converters or pdf scraper tool. In this category of tools Tabex offers a solution for the end consumer as well as for developers in search of flexibility and a pdf scraping tool capable to return data within their own data extraction flow.

Tabex pdf to txt multiple concurrent files pdf scraper technology allow end users to submit multiple pdf files and extract data directly on the cloud. The operation is simple and the fast Tabex pdf data capture technology on the cloud allows the user to quickly retrieve all the parsed and scraped textual data within the PDF itself.

Tabex pdf API technology offers similar advantages to developers in search to scrape data from pdf documents and with an output format in TXT. The pdf API can handle large file sizes and complex data formats within the PDF document.

For those who attempt to scrape tabular data from pdf and seek to digitize the information within the PDF table itself Tabex technology allows to identify and scrape data from pdf tables into various editable data formats such as XML, XLSX, CSV and HTML. Often referred to as a pdf to xml conversion or a pdf to excel conversion the ability to scrape data from pdf tabular structures is paramount for those who wants to create digital databases from data mined from pdf documents.

Tabex pdf scraping technology can be used with a powerful multiple files upload user interface and also via the Tabex pdf API. The tabex pdf API, also referred to as  pdf to xml API and pdf to excel API, offers precise, fast data extraction at scale. The API can support various types of application, fully automated batch extraction or user guided data scraping from PDF files on both the web and the desktop.

An additional form of scraping data from PDF documents and web pages  is to extract images and scrape the data within the images from the PDF. Tabex image extraction technology features two main components.  The first one is a technology able to identify file jpg, png, Tiff and other image formats and extract them from pdf to image. This service is currently offered to the end user and available at or .

The second component of Tabex image extraction technology is the charts data capture engine. This is a technology that allows a user to digitize the numerical value of data reported as bar charts and as other forms of charts. More info are available at

This post is also available in: Italian

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