What is a PDF Parser? Everything You Need to Know about Parsing PDF and Documents

A PDF parser is an AI-powered tool used to extract data from PDF files containing texts, tables, or images so that businesses can

 min. read
May 28, 2024
What is a PDF Parser? Everything You Need to Know about Parsing PDF and Documents

Ever since the launch of the PDF file format, businesses around the globe have heavily relied on PDF documents for various purposes. In the digital age we live in now, many businesses need to pull textual information from PDF files and figure out what it means. From document management to data extraction and analysis, PDF parsers have played an important role in helping these businesses succeed.

A PDF parser is a type of software application or a set of tools for extracting and parsing textual information from Portable Document Format (PDF) files. They are used to extract and parse text, images, fonts, metadata, annotations, and other parts of a PDF document in order to make structured data out of the PDF's unstructured content.

A PDF parsing works by taking the PDF document, breaking it down into its individual components, such as text and images, and then using a program to analyze each of these components. The program can pull out different pieces of information from the document and store them in a way that allows other software to perform data analytics or process automation.

The process involves using Optical Character Recognition (OCR) technology and other AI tehnologies, such as machine learning and natural language processing, to scan the contents of the PDF file and extract data from texts, images, or even tables stored in PDF files. Instead of returning texts without any organization, PDF parsers can return the extracted information in structured formats like CSV or JSON that can be directly used by other programs or software.

PDF files are the best option for many different document types, ranging from books, presentations, reports, and brochures to invoices and purchase orders. You can also convert documents such as invoices, receipts, academic reports, and presentations into PDFs. These PDF files often contain a variety of data. PDF parsing solutions are typically used to extract the following:

  • Text paragraphs
  • List
  • Images
  • Tables
  • Tabular data
  • Single data fields
  • Key value pairs
  • Headers

Parsing tools such as PDFParser, pdf parser.py, make-pdf, and pdfid.py can pull out properties that describe the physical structure of PDF documents. These structures include:

  • Objects
  • Headers
  • Metadata
  • Text from ordered pages
  • Cross-reference table
  • Trailer

PDF documents can be complex, making it difficult to accurately extract data from them. Additionally, PDF documents often contain scanned images or handwritten text that requires OCR technology to extract the content.

The process of parsing a large number of PDFs can be time consuming and require significant manual effort. This can become especially cumbersome for businesses that need to extract data from thousands of documents on a daily basis.

There are two ways for businesses to scale manual data entry. First is to hire more staff to match the increasing number of PDFs to be parsed. The second will be outsourced to other companies; however, these two can be quite costly once the number of documents reaches a certain point.

As a result, businesses need specialized software or hardware to accurately parse their documents, which can add up quickly. Additionally, they may need to hire trained personnel to manually verify the extracted data.

PDF parsers provide an automated way to retrieve data from images of receipts stored in PDFs, helping retailers better understand their customer base and create more effective marketing campaigns.

You can extract customer information from receipts and maintain a customer database. You can also extract product information from catalogs and create dynamic product displays on your website. You can also use this database for future re-marketing campaigns and to track customer buying trends.

The extraction of receipts also benefits the retail industry by reducing the manual labor involved in calculating taxes, discounts, and other operations related to a sale. By using the automated extraction of PDFs, the entire process can be completed in minutes instead of hours.

Extracting data from ID cards happens daily in the telecom and banking industries, and manual verification can be error-prone and time-consuming. Incorporating PDF parsing into the workflow helps boost the processing speed, allowing them to reduce operational cost and save much time.

Organizations handling large volumes of documents can use PDF parsers to verify the identity of customers. By leveraging automated data extraction from PDF files, businesses can efficiently process customer verifications and create more accurate customer profiles for targeted marketing campaigns.

Real estate companies could also use PDF parsers to collect information from vehicles in their parking lots. Once the vehicle owner consents, a staff member would proceed to scan the license in the vehicle’s windshield to gather related information and create a membership account.

Organizations such as clubs and societies often have to process large volumes of membership applications. By using PDF parsers, these organizations can speed up their payment processing times by automatically extracting financial information from PDF documents.

PDF parsers are cost-effective solutions as they automate the data extraction process, saving time and money for organizations. They can be easily scaled up to meet changing extraction needs, making them an ideal choice for businesses looking to boost their efficiency and reduce manual effort.

PDF parsers also eliminate human errors, providing higher accuracy and more reliable results for data extraction. This improves the overall quality of the outputted data and helps organizations make better decisions in their operations.

Performing repetitive tasks can be tedious, and employees might make mistakes during the process. With PDF parsers, the possibility of human error is eliminated, as all data will be extracted automatically and accurately. This makes it easier to identify mistakes before they become problems.

PDF parsers also provide a more accurate way of extracting data from documents than manual processes such as copy-pasting text. By using automated software, you can avoid data entry errors and ensure that all data is accurately retrieved from the document.

PDF parsers can transform unstructured data present in PDF documents into structured formats such as CSV, XML, or JSON. This helps businesses easily store, manage, and share the extracted data.

FormX is a powerful, cloud-based platform that helps businesses automate the process of extracting data from PDF documents. By integrating OCR, machine learning, and other technologies, it accurately extracts data from any kinds of PDF file quickly and easily.

With FormX, you can:

  • Automatically extract data from any kind of PDF file
  • Transform unstructured data into structured formats
  • Leverage AI and machine learning technologies for improved accuracy
  • Easily store, manage and share the extracted data
  • Improve operational efficiency by eliminating manual effort
  • Reduce costs associated with data extraction processes

You can greatly optimize your business processes by using PDF parsers. Here are some of the key benefits of PDF parsing:

  • Efficiency: Automating processes and extracting data from PDFs can save a lot of time, allowing businesses to focus on more important tasks.
  • Accuracy: By using automated tools, businesses can extract data with greater accuracy than manual methods. This helps them avoid costly errors.
  • Security: PDF parsers help businesses protect confidential data by encrypting and storing it securely in databases.
  • Cost savings: Automating processes can save businesses money by eliminating manual labor costs. Additionally, they can reduce their document storage costs since they don’t need to store paper documents.
  • Compliance: By using automated tools, businesses can ensure that their data extraction processes comply with legal requirements and industry standards.
  • Eliminate the use and storage of physical documents: PDF parsers help businesses reduce the use of physical documents and the costs associated with storing them. Once you know how to parse pdf, your documents will be stored digitally, making them easier to access and share.
  • Turn unstructured data into structured formats: Document parsing helps businesses turn unstructured data into structured formats that can be easily analyzed and used for further processing. This is especially useful for businesses that need to extract data from large numbers of PDF documents.

PDF parsing is a complex task that requires a powerful and reliable tool such as FormX. With its advanced AI models, robust automation features, and cost-effective pricing plans, FormX is the ideal solution for businesses of all sizes looking to accurately extract data from their PDF documents. Sign up for a free trial or contact us to tell us more about your needs and how FormX can be of help to you.