How to convert PDF invoices to Excel using PDF scraper

The versatility and flexibility of PDF have made it the de facto official file format for document sharing and collaboration. However, converting data from PDF invoices into accounting tools can present a challenge. In this blog post, we’ll focus on how you can export data from PDFs into spreadsheet programs like MS Excel by using a PDF scraper.

convert PDF invoices to Excel

Alternatives to manual data extraction

In this article, you’ll learn about alternatives to manual invoice data extraction, such as a PDF scraper. This should help you choose the option that meets your company’s specific needs.

Using a PDF scraper

Businesses often have to process many different types of digital document formats. Perhaps the most common format is the Portable Document Format (PDF). This digitized version of a physically printed document comes in many shapes and sizes, depending on the business that sent the document and its layout rules. Consequently, when a business receives PDF documents for processing, none of the documents may be alike and it is very likely that the data will be unable to coincide easily with the business system used by your company. It is at this point that many companies start looking for tools that can aid them in the process of data extraction from PDF documents. A PDF scraper is just such a tool.

A PDF scraper, or a PDF parser, as it is many times called, is software that individuals or businesses can use to extract data from PDF files. PDF scraping can be thought of as a step or tool that will eventually lead to automated business document processing. Simply put, a PDF scraper software scans the raw data of a PDF document and extracts it, and some will import this data into Excel spreadsheets. The scraper tool can capture raw data pertaining to bunches of text, as well as data in fields, tables, lists, and images. 

For businesses, a PDF scraper is a helpful tool that can make the process of data extraction easier and faster so that employees do not have to manually type and retype all of the data in the countless PDF documents the business receives. However, a PDF scraper is just a tool. By itself, it does not automate the data entry process, nor does it have a great net effect on the document processing procedures followed by businesses. Companies that handle hundreds of PDF documents would do better to consider a more comprehensive software like Rossum that can automate the entire document processing department

PDF scraper tool

A PDF scraper tool is a software that is available online from many different sources. The most robust PDF scraper software can convert the data from PDF documents into Excel spreadsheets for ease of use. By reading the data and converting it into machine-readable text, businesses do not have to make employees manually read and type out the data. Nevertheless, a PDF scraper can only do so much.

If your business is willing to hire developers or programmers to create a PDF scraper program from scratch, a few programs exist that can help with this. To extract text from PDF programmatically with Python, you need to choose a Python library. There are several different libraries available, so narrowing down on those will take time. Otherwise, your business could use C# or JavaScript to extract text from PDF files, but this would require substantial coding knowledge. 

There are other options for businesses that are not excited about hiring programmers to create a PDF scraper tool. Free PDF scraper tools can be found online. These free programs can make it easy to extract data from PDF files but are not capable of working with large quantities of documents. Additionally, as with anything that is free, there is usually a catch. With free PDF scrapers, the catch is security. It is not easy to verify the security of the program and using insecure software to extract sensitive data from business documents is not necessarily the best choice.

The best PDF scraper option for businesses that handle large amounts of documents is a complete system that can automate document processing from beginning to end. PDF scrapers are light tools that are not suitable for large-scale use. Most companies require a platform that can validate, organize, extract, enter, and process data from PDFs in one system, like Rossum’s software.

How to convert PDF to Excel without software

Knowing how to convert PDF to Excel without software starts by ensuring that your document processing department thoroughly understands and utilizes the Microsoft Excel program. Without software, the raw data from a PDF file can be imported into Excel spreadsheet fields by manually copying and pasting it, but this will almost certainly result in confused and combined fields that will then have to be manually fixed by the employee. 

Otherwise, the employee could convert the PDF document into a Microsoft Word document and then copy and paste the data. Still another option is to use the Get Data function in Excel. If your business has Adobe Acrobat DC, the PDF file can be exported into a Microsoft Excel Workbook, but the correct formatting is not guaranteed. With one of these software-free solutions, knowing how to convert a PDF image to Excel is also cleared up. 

PDF scraper to Excel programs are available, and they do make it easier to convert PDF data into Excel, but this does not solve anything if your business does not use Excel. Additionally, the formatting when converting the data is almost always incorrect, and this just means more time for the employee to manually fix it. With Rossum, companies can convert PDF data into any format they need and the AI-powered technology means that formatting requires less human involvement over time.

How to convert PDF to Excel without losing formatting

A PDF scraper is usually only capable of extracting data from PDF documents and cannot convert that data into a usable format with the correct layout. This means that employees would still have to read the extracted data and copy and paste it into the correct fields in the Excel spreadsheets used by the document processing department. If your business wants to find a way to answer the question of how to convert PDF to Excel without losing formatting, you will either have to use software or find a very involved method in Excel or through another program to do this.

Additionally, extracting data from multiple PDF files to Excel requires much more powerful software than the free PDF scraper tools that can be found online. Some PDF scrapers can extract data from multiple PDF documents, but getting that data into Excel spreadsheets with the correct formatting is very tricky. This is why companies are turning to comprehensive software that uses AI so that data extraction and data entry become smooth, error-free, and correctly formatted processes. Rossum is a software that can make it easy to convert large quantities of PDF files into Excel spreadsheets with the right formatting and no time lost.

Best PDF scraper

The best PDF scraper is one that tangibly improves the data extraction process. This means that the software can handle complex PDF documents, that it extracts the data in an understandable format, and can import the data correctly into either an Excel spreadsheet or another business system used by the organization. It also should be able to measurably speed up the data extraction process and cut costs, or the business might as well hire employees to do it manually.

You can find many websites that claim to list the best PDF parser, but it really depends on the needs of the business. Some companies may find that the programming method is the best for their requirements, and others may prefer a less involved tool that can make document processing easier all around.

PDF scraper Python libraries are effective PDF scraper tools. Using a Python PDF scraper library does require coding and programming knowledge, but is one of the best light PDF scraper options. For companies that need a more efficient and powerful software for PDF data extraction and entry, a light PDF scraper is not going to be useful. Instead, a PDF data extraction software with AI like Rossum provides a stronger alternative.

PDF data extraction software

PDF data extraction software is bigger than PDF scraper tools. When the Portable Document Format was invented in the 1990s, there was no useful software for extracting text and other data from the document for use in a more editable format. Eventually, PDF scrapers and PDF parsers were created, and still are being created, to make extracting raw data from PDFs easier. 

Still, these tools are unable to correctly format the data when imported into another file format, such as an Excel spreadsheet. Recently, with the introduction of Artificial Intelligence, technological pioneers have been working on creating systems that fix this problem. 

By using deep learning to extract text from PDFs, businesses have been given the opportunity to automate every step of document processing. Deep learning AI systems will “learn” from what humans do in the system so that human involvement becomes less over time. As an example, consider how, after using a PDF scraper, a human has to manually enter the extracted data into the corresponding fields in the Excel spreadsheet or other business system. A deep learning software will analyze what the person is doing and will be able to do the same task after “learning” from the person’s actions in the system.

While a PDF scraper might be a useful tool for certain purposes, it fails to improve the overall document processing department and may not be a secure program for a business to use. With an Intelligent Document Processing software like Rossum, businesses can automate PDF data extraction and data entry with the assurance that their documents are secure in the platform. Rossum can also handle large quantities of PDF files and can import the data without losing formatting so that the entire document processing department can be both efficient and accurate.

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