How to extract table from a PDF and line items
in Rossum

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Extract table from a PDF: a guide

Businesses that need to extract tables from PDF files have several options. The first question is, which format do you want to extract the table from PDF? If your business uses Excel, then you will 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 might be an effective choice for a business. 

Sometimes, a business will want to 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 useful. Some programs act as PDF-to-Word converter tools and can aid in extracting tables from PDFs. 

One of the various Microsoft programs is Microsoft PowerPoint (PPT). This program is useful when extracting a table from a PDF to use in a presentation. Knowing how to copy a table from PDF to PPT might be helpful to your company.

Another method for extracting tables from PDFs involves coding. A statistical computing coding language called R has been used for this process and is an option for businesses willing to use 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. 

Businesses that work with hundreds of PDF documents with tables may want to consider a more powerful program to aid the Document Processing department. An AI-powered data extraction tool like Rossum can capture the data from tables in PDFs and automatically enter it into the corresponding fields in the business program used by the company.

Extract table from PDF to Excel

To extract a table from the PDF to Excel, you will need to know whether the table in the PDF document is digitally readable. In other words, the PDF document must not be a scanned image. 

To copy tables from a PDF to Excel with formatting in the traditional, manual method is time-consuming and repetitive. Businesses may be interested in finding an “extract table from PDF” online tool. 

To export a table into an Excel spreadsheet, finding a PDF to Excel table online converter website or software can be an efficient way to extract this data from PDFs. 

Knowing how to copy tables from a PDF to Excel on Mac computers begins with knowing that several online programs are available. One of the most common programs is Adobe Acrobat, which can export PDF data into an Excel spreadsheet. 

If your business requires using Microsoft Word documents for data extraction and entry, it will be beneficial to know how to copy tables from a PDF to Word. Converting PDF tables into Excel sheets is one way to simplify data extraction. Still, a comprehensive 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 willing to hire 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 PDF with tables easily. While using code may be a more complex method to extract data from PDF, C# tutorials can make it easier

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. 

Using programming languages to extract tables from PDF files is an option for businesses, but software like Rossum, which is pre-designed for this process, could be more efficient.

Extract data from PDF

The Portable Document Format (PDF) may be the most common file format businesses must manage. While this format is secure, easy to use, and compressible, it does present challenges for any Document Processing department that must process the data from 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. 

On the other hand, if the table is locked inside a scanned PDF file, you may 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 can give you a head start. There are several table OCR GitHub coding tool libraries, such as Hyper-Table-OCR, which can extract tables from documents through code. 

Another tool to extract tables from a PDF, Python, is 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 could be used, but learning how to develop and use the code would take time. This time may be better spent finding a program that already exists to extract tables from PDFs. 

Since many individuals and businesses need to perform this task, countless tools exist as either online or downloadable programs. 

Businesses that use Linux as their operating system need to find a tool to extract tables from a PDF tool that is compatible with Linux. One tool available online for this purpose is the Tabula PDF program. This program works on Windows, Mac, and Linux operating systems, making it versatile and useful for many companies.

An online tool could extract tables from PDFs without downloading a program. To extract tables from a PDF online, several websites are available that just require 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-powered OCR technology, the Rossum platform is an example tool that can easily extract tables from PDFs or images.

Extract table from PDF JavaScript

One way to learn how to extract tables from PDF documents is to use JavaScript. While many extract data from PDF JavaScript coding libraries and tools are available, finding one that can extract data from PDF with tables is a different task. 

The pdf.js extract text coding library is a free package that can extract text from tables in PDF files but does not have OCR capabilities.

Some other JavaScript libraries for extracting tables from PDF files include the pdf-table-extractor npm tool. As with pdf.js, this tool is free to download and can be used with basic JavaScript coding knowledge. 

To extract tables from a PDF, 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 Document Processing departments that are not interested in learning how to code, 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 do not require 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? Frequently, if you try to copy and paste the data using the traditional method of selecting the data with your cursor, the table will not 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. 

Online tools and programs are another way to copy tables from PDF files. To copy a table from PDF online, deciding which format you want to paste the table into is helpful.

For example, if you need to copy tables from a PDF to Word, online websites like Convertio make it easy to convert PDF documents with tables into editable Word documents. 

However, an Intelligent Document Processing system that can be quickly 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 do not 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, documents were usually shared manually, using paper. That all changed when the Portable Document Format 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 soon 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 certain 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, for example, 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 a terrible waste of their talent. 

Fortunately, there is a better way to get text from PDF files. Using an Intelligent Document Processing (IDP) platform, you can extract text from PDF online 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 can 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, 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. The first is called template-based OCR and 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 is severely limited from a document management point of view. 

Although the technology can capture data very accurately from documents that have minimal variation, its accuracy drops precipitously as the variation between documents increases. 

This means that template-based OCR works very 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 requires businesses that implement template-based OCR to hire expensive experts to spend 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 instead of expensive experts, 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 may not be a lousy 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. 

However, 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. 

One option for doing this is to build your application. Although this may sound daunting, several tools make it easier to do than you might 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. However, 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.

Furthermore, the Tesseract library, though fairly robust, is not suited to a professional business application. 

The ideal way to batch-extract data from PDF to Excel spreadsheets is to utilize an IDP platform like Rossum. Rossum features an easy-to-use 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, just 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

It’s fascinating to see how far technology has come. It is even more intriguing to consider the heights it could reach. The PDF is now a commonplace standard almost fundamental to business technology. 

Yet, just over two decades ago, we had no such standard for document formatting at all. The versatility of the PDF format was a massive breakthrough in its day, and we continue to feel the benefits today. 

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 has been born 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 Rossum, 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. 

How to extract table from a PDF
and line items in Rossum

If you have trouble extracting line items with your current solution,
check out Rossum. Try it for yourself and start your free trial.