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. Let’s take a look at how you can use a PDF scraper to export data from PDFs into spreadsheet programs like MS Excel.

convert PDF invoices to Excel

Using a PDF scraper

Businesses have to process many different types of digital document formats — but perhaps the most common digital format is the Portable Document Format (PDF).

This digitized version of a physically printed document comes in many shapes and sizes, depending on its layout rules. 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 to help in the process of data extraction from PDF documents. That’s where a PDF scraper comes in.

A PDF scraper (or a PDF parser) is a type of software with the capability to extract data from PDF files. PDF scraping is a subset within the discipline of business document processing. 

In the simplest terms, a PDF scraper scans raw data from a PDF document and extracts it, then it can import this data into an Excel spreadsheet. The scraper tool can capture bunches of text, as well as data formatted in fields, tables, lists, and images. 

For many businesses, a PDF scraper is a helpful tool that can make data extraction fast and easy. This helps employees to avoid manually retyping all of the data in the countless PDF documents the business receives.

While a PDF scraper is an effective way to manage small volumes of PDFs, a PDF scraper is just one tool within the broader world of automated document processing. 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 might wish to consider more comprehensive software to automate the entire document processing department — like Rossum. 

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 easy processing. 

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. A PDF scraper can be an effective tool, with a limited scope. 

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 first choose a Python library. 

Aside from the Python libraries, your business can use C# or JavaScript to extract text from PDF files — however, this approach would require even more substantial coding knowledge. 

If you’re not so excited about hiring programmers to create a PDF scraper tool, there are plenty of PDF scraper programs available. Free PDF scraper tools can be found online, although they may not be capable of working with large amounts of documents. 

With free PDF scrapers, security is also a persistent concern. It is not easy to verify the security of the program and using free software, which makes free PDF scrapers an unwise idea for extracting sensitive data from business documents.

For businesses that handle large amounts of documents, the best PDF scraper option 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. 

For effective document processing, require a platform that can validate, organize, extract, enter, and process data from PDFs — all in one comprehensive system like Rossum.

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 Microsoft Excel. Without software, the raw data from a PDF file can be imported into Excel spreadsheet fields by manually copying and pasting — but this will almost certainly result in confused and combined fields, which will have to be manually fixed by an employee. 

To avoid pasting into Excel, businesses can often convert a PDF document into a Microsoft Word document and then copy and paste the data. Alternatively, another option is to use the Get Data function in Excel.

If your business has Adobe Acrobat DC, a PDF file can be exported into a Microsoft Excel Workbook. But with this process, the correct formatting is not guaranteed. With a software-free solution, knowing how to convert a PDF image to Excel is no longer a concern. 

PDF scraper-to-Excel programs make it easy to convert PDF data into Excel, for businesses that use Excel. But not every business uses Excel, and PDF scraping may still require employees to manually fix formatting errors in spreadsheets.

With Rossum, you can convert PDF data into any format you need. Rossum’s AI-powered technology means that formatting requires less human involvement over time.

How to convert PDF to Excel without losing formatting

A PDF scraper may be capable of extracting data from PDF documents, but a PDF scraper alone cannot convert that data into a usable format with the correct layout. Using a traditional PDF scraper, employees would still need to read the extracted data, then copy and paste it into the correct fields in Excel spreadsheets.

To answer the question of how to convert PDF to Excel without losing formatting, you will have to use software. Extracting data from multiple PDF files to Excel requires more capable software than the free PDF scraper tools available online. 

Certain PDF scrapers can extract data from multiple PDF documents, but getting that data into Excel spreadsheets with the correct formatting is nearly impossible without a supervising solution.

For extraction combined with formatting, businesses are turning to robust software that uses AI for smooth, error-free, and correctly formatted data extraction. 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, extract data in a logical format, and import data into either an Excel spreadsheet or another business system. An effective PDF scraper should also be able to measurably speed up the data extraction process to cut costs

Plenty of websites claim to offer the best PDF parser, but the right PDF scraper depends on the unique needs of your business. Some companies may find that the programming method is the best for their requirements, while others may prefer a less involved tool that can make document processing easier from the jump. PDF scraper Python libraries can be effective PDF scraper tools, but they require coding and programming knowledge.

For companies that need more efficient and powerful software for PDF data extraction and entry, a light PDF scraper won’t cut it. Instead, an AI-based approach to PDF data extraction — like Rossum — offers a stronger alternative.

PDF data extraction software

When the Portable Document Format was invented in the 1990s, there was no useful software for extracting data from the document for use in a more editable format. Eventually, PDF scrapers and PDF parsers were created to make extracting raw data from PDFs easier. 

Still, PDF scrapers tools are unable to correctly format data into another file format, such as an Excel spreadsheet. Modern PDF data extraction software is more complex than just a PDF scraper tool.

With the introduction of Artificial Intelligence, businesses have begun to use deep learning to extract text from PDFs. Deep learning AI systems can “learn” from what humans do, so that accuracy can improve over time. 

Using a traditional PDF scraper, a human has to manually enter the extracted data into the corresponding fields in the Excel spreadsheet or other business system. But deep learning software can analyze how these tasks are performed, and “learn” from a person’s actions in the system.

While a PDF scraper might be a useful tool for certain purposes, it is not a tool for overall document processing, and it does not offer security protections. Intelligent document processing software with Rossum can do better. 

With Rossum, businesses can automate PDF data extraction and data entry, with the assurance that documents are secure. Rossum can also handle large quantities of PDF files without losing formatting — so that the entire document processing department can be both efficient and accurate.

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