Extract table from a PDF – Your guide
Businesses that need to extract tables from PDF files have several options. But first, you need to ask, which format do you want to extract the table from PDF?
Copy a table from PDF to Excel
If your business uses Excel, you’ll need to find a way to copy a table from PDF to Excel. This is a popular program for creating and editing data tables and could be an effective choice for your business.
Microsoft Word data extraction
Some businesses use Microsoft Word for data extraction and entry processes. In this case, knowing how to extract a table from PDF to Word and how to copy a table in Word will be helpful. Some programs act as PDF-to-Word converter tools and will help in extracting tables from PDFs.
Extract a table from PDF with PowerPoint
One of the Microsoft programs is PowerPoint. This program is great if you want to extract a table from a PDF to use in a presentation. Understanding how to copy a table from PDF to PPT will be helpful to your company.
Table extraction from PDF with coding
Another method for extracting tables from PDFs involves coding. A statistical computing coding language called R used for this process and is an option for businesses with people able to code to extract tables.
“Extract table from PDF R” tutorials online can be helpful for understanding where to start with this coding language. Two coding libraries or packages for table extraction in R are pdftools R and tabulizer R.
AI document processing
Businesses that work with hundreds of PDF documents with tables may want to consider a more powerful program to help with document processing. An AI document processing solution like Rossum captures the data from tables in PDFs and automatically enters it into the corresponding fields in your business program.
Extract table from PDF to Excel
To extract a table from PDF to Excel, you’ll need to know whether the table in the PDF document is digitally readable. That it’s not a scanned image.
Copy a table PDF to Excel with manual data entry
To copy tables from a PDF to Excel using manual data entry is time-consuming and repetitive. Businesses would be wise to source an “extract table from PDF” online tool.
PDF to Excel table converter
To export a table into an Excel spreadsheet, using a PDF to Excel table online converter website or software can be an efficient way to extract this data.
There are several online programs available if you’re looking to copy tables from a PDF to Excel on Mac computers. One of the most common programs is Adobe Acrobat, which can export PDF data into an Excel spreadsheet.
Rossum captures large volumes of data
If your business usesMicrosoft Word documents for data extraction and entry, it’ll help if you know how to copy tables from a PDF to Word. Converting PDF tables into Excel sheets is one way to simplify data extraction. An automation tool like Rossum might be a better choice for businesses that need to capture large quantities of data.
Extract table from PDF C#
For companies with a team of programmers, there are a few ways to extract tables from PDF files using the C# programming language.
Tabula C# is a library in the C# coding language that can be used to extract data from a PDF with tables easily. While using code may be a more complex method to extract data from PDF, C# tutorials will help.
For businesses looking to extract tables from a PDF, C# iTextSharp is an advanced coding library that allows PDF files to be analyzed and the data to be extracted in an in-depth coding sequence. Another option for using code to extract table data from PDFs is an open-source library.
Extract data from PDF
The Portable Document Format (PDF) may be the most common file format businesses need to manage. While this format is secure, easy to use, and compressible, it does present challenges for any document processing department that needs to process the data contained in these files.
Extracting data from PDF files can be the most straightforward task or a time-consuming manual project. For instance, a PDF with digitally readable tables can be extracted using a simple copy-and-paste method.
PDF table to CSV program
On the other hand, if the table is locked inside a scanned PDF file, you’ll need to find another way to extract data from tables in the file, such as using a PDF table to CSV program.
For businesses interested in developing their programs to extract tables from a PDF, GitHub is a source for coding libraries that will give you a head start. There are several table OCR GitHub coding tool libraries, such as Hyper-Table-OCR, which use code to extract tables from documents.
Extract a table from a PDF with Python
Another tool to extract tables from a PDF is Python, an advanced coding language that many use for this process. There are several tutorials available online that make it easy to learn how to use Python.
Extract table from image
When extracting tables from a PDF, Python can be used, but learning how to develop and use the code takes time. You might want to consider finding a program that already exists to do the job for you.
Tabula PDF program for Linux
Businesses that use Linux as their operating system need to find a tool that’s compatible. One such tool is the Tabula PDF program. This program works on Windows, Mac, and Linux operating systems.
AI OCR software
There are online tools that can extract tables from PDFs without downloading a program. Several websites are available that ask you to upload the document, and the site will export the table into the format you need.
Some of these online tools can extract tables from image files and PDFs. With AI OCR software, the Rossum platform is an example of just such a tool.
The pdf.js extract text coding library is a free package that can extract text from tables in PDF files but doesn’t have OCR capabilities.
NodeJS libraries also exist. Similar to these coding libraries, the pdftotext table extraction tool from GitHub can be used in conjunction with Python to extract table data from PDFs.
For non techies, a pre-programmed AI-powered software like Rossum can be used to extract data from tables without requiring coding knowledge.
Copy table from PDF online
The simplest method for extracting data from a table in a PDF document is to copy and paste it into a Word document. This process makes the table digitally readable and editable so that data extraction and entry doesn’t need manual re-typing of the data.
An important question when considering this method is, how to copy and paste from PDF to Word without losing formatting? Often, if you try to copy and paste the data using the traditional method of selecting the data with your cursor, the table won’t be formatted correctly.
There are a few ways to copy and paste tables with the correct formatting, but the Adobe Acrobat solution is one of the easiest.
To copy a table from PDF online, deciding which format you want to paste the table into will help.
For example, if you need to copy tables from a PDF to Word, online websites like Convertio make it easy to convert PDFs with tables into editable Word documents.
Rossum can extract table data from PDF files
However, an intelligent document processing system that can be implemented in a business is a more reliable and efficient tool for copying and extracting tables from PDF files than a free online converter. Rossum can extract tables from PDF files and automatically enter the data so that employees don’t have to.
Get text from PDF
In the late 1990s, there was no widely used standard for the cross-platform exchange of documents. This meant that documents in one format could not be read or accessed by computers or systems with a different operating system.
Consequently, paper documents were usually shared manually. That all changed when the Portable Document Format – PDF – was introduced at the Windows OS|2 Conference in 1993. It was a solution born out of the vision that someday, technology would make it possible to eliminate paperwork from the office.
Adobe had envisioned a versatile format that could be read by a universal program (Adobe Reader or Acrobat Reader). As the technology developed, it was embraced by more and more users who realized its potential to streamline the document communication process. The PDF overcame all obstacles and became the standard for electronic documents today.
When converting a physical document to an electronic document, PDF is almost always the format of choice for the output. Although a PDF file is a versatile and flexible solution for moving documents from one computer or system to another, it has limitations. The primary issue with PDF files is that they capture documents in an image instead of structured data.
This means that the data is inaccessible to computer programs and applications. This is not a minor issue. All the data in a PDF invoice – a transactional document – needs to be sent to an electronic accounting or ERP system. However, if that data is in a PDF format, the accounting system will be unable to recognize the data.
As a result of this limitation, manual data entry has become the standard method for capturing the data in these PDF files and exporting that data to Excel spreadsheets or other formats that hold the data in a structured manner to be used by computer applications.
The problem is that manual data entry is slow, inefficient, and expensive. The tedious task of copying out data into other applications has the potential to demotivate your team severely and is an utter waste of their talent.
Fortunately, there’s a better way to get text from PDF files. Using an intelligent document processing – IDP – platform, you can extract text from PDF documents and instantly send the data to its proper destination.
The best data extraction software will even include an “extract text from PDF to Excel” function so that you can quickly export the data to a format compatible with your other systems.
An effective PDF-to-text converter will help you increase the efficiency of virtually every single document-based process in your business, from invoices to packing lists and everything in between.
Extract text from PDF image
To extract text from PDF documents efficiently, a PDF-to-text OCR solution is required. OCR is short for optical character recognition and refers to the ability of a computer application to scan a document and identify the text characters within it. And then automatically extract that text as data that can be exported to various formats.
There are two main kinds of OCR technology that can extract text from PDF image scans…
Template-based OCR relies on a series of rules and templates to identify the fields and data types to extract for each document.
This type of OCR has already been fairly widely used as a way to save time and costs on manual data entry. However, it’s severely limited from a document management point of view.
Although the technology can capture data accurately from documents that have minimal variation, its accuracy drops greatly as the variation between documents increases.
This means that template-based OCR works well in situations where the documents all have a fixed, unchanging format. In the IRS, template-based OCR works well because their paperwork is always consistent. However, each vendor is going to use a slightly different invoice.
This means that businesses implementing template-based OCR have to hire expensive experts or use their IT team to spend/waste hours building new templates and writing new rules for every single vendor they work with.
A better solution than template-based OCR is AI-enabled OCR, also known as cognitive OCR. This character recognition technology uses deep learning to extract text from PDF documents.
Cognitive OCR maintains itself, learning more about the fastest and most accurate ways of extracting data from your business documents as it goes.
Rossum is an IDP solution with an AI-enabled engine at its core. Our engine possesses unique computer vision capabilities that enable the system to “skim” and “read” documents, much like a human would.
This results in more accuracy and speed, even when dealing with documents with a high degree of variation. Whether your electronic records are stored in a PDF or an image file format, a cognitive OCR solution is the best way to automate data extraction.
Extract text from PDF programmatically
Manual data entry isn’t a bad way of extracting text data from a PDF file if you only have to do it a few times. This method gives you the advantage of having an experienced professional ensure that all the data is correct and makes sense.
But, what if you need to run data extraction on hundreds of critical business documents like invoices, receipts, work orders, and more? In that case, doing all that work manually doesn’t make sense. You need a way to extract text from PDF programmatically.
Build your own application
One option for doing this is to build your application. Daunting? Easier to do than you think. It only takes a few lines of code to build an introductory “extract text from PDF to Excel” Python program.
The key is to use the open-source OCR engine, Tesseract. Tesseract is a library compatible with the Python programming language and can extract text from PDF files. You will need to find a library or program to connect this new tool to a user interface if you want your employees to be able to use it.
The Tesseract library, though fairly robust, is not suited to a professional business application.
Intelligent document processing
The ideal way to batch-extract data from PDF to Excel spreadsheets is to utilize an IDP platform like Rossum. Rossum features an ergonomic interface and a powerful queuing system that can take documents from various sources and perform data capture on all of them in just a few clicks. The practical operation of this process is simple.
All you have to do is upload your documents – from one channel or many – to the queue. Then, check the boxes that describe the fields of data you want to capture. After that, a click or two for validation, and you’ll have all your data exported in the format of your choice.
Our validation screen has been specifically designed to make it easier for your team and can automatically spot the areas that should be reviewed for accuracy. The best part about this is that whether you do it on one document or hundreds, the whole process will only take seconds.
Copy text from images
Although it was integral to facilitating the sharing of documents between professionals, the PDF needed to solve the problem of manual data entry. Data still had to be copied out by hand from PDF files into other systems.
Then, template-based OCR was developed, and the document management space took a giant leap forward. For the first time, up to 50% of data entry tasks could be automated.
However, the hefty costs of maintaining and updating such a system became so expensive that prices were nearly comparable with manual data entry.
Finally, cognitive OCR technology was developed that can copy text from image files regardless of the amount of variability between documents.
The full power of document management automation can be realized with a platform like Rossum. With our IDP solution, not only can you copy text from PDF files and export it into several different formats, but you can also build powerful integrations.
Instead of manually taking the exported data from Rossum and then importing it into your ERP or accounting systems, Rossum provides a versatile API that allows you to build your integrations.
These integrations can serve as software bridges that automatically send the extracted data to its correct destination. In this manner, you can revolutionize your core processes and create completely touchless workflows.