Automation

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 automate document processing.

Published on
December 24, 2021

A PDF Parser is a tool, which can come in the form of software for non-coders or libraries for developers, that can extract data from PDF files and return machine-encoded texts or structured data to eliminate manual data entry.

Organizations now exchange business information with Portable Document Format (PDF) since it is quite easy to create, free from compatible issues, and much more reliable compared to other formats. These properties make PDF one of the most common file types; however, the information stored in PDF files often has to be extracted and reorganized manually because PDF files often contain images, which are not machine-readable, or unstructured texts, meaning that the data is not formatted based on a predefined data modal. PDF parsers can then help businesses automate this process and extract data more efficiently.

In this blog post, we will be discussing:

How Does PDF Parsing Work?

PDF parsers leverage different AI technologies and advanced algorithms to make sense and organize the data in a PDF file. You may think of the term optical character recognition (OCR) as you read this blog post. OCR engines are also capable of extracting information from images or texts in PDF files; nevertheless, the extracted data is not organized or structured for other software to process. The data returned by PDF parsers, on the other hand, is formatted in a way that is easy to reuse and analyze.

Data Types That Can Be Parsed From PDFs

All kinds of document types, including invoice, receipt, academic report, and even presentation, are converted into PDFs; thus, PDF files often contain a variety of data. A PDF parsing solution usually can extract:

  • Text paragraphs
  • Single data fields, such as dates, numbers, names, etc.
  • Table
  • Lists
  • Images

Instead of recruiting hundreds of people to open all PDF files, locate the information needed, and rekey them into a spreadsheet or system, businesses can use PDF Parsers to extract information from batches of PDF files within seconds. 

What Are The Common Use Cases of PDF Parsers?

PDF parser has a wide range of applications. Essentially, businesses that need to process various documents and aim to automate extracting data from PDF files can incorporate PDF parsing into their document management workflow. PDF Parsers are often used to extract information from:

The extracted data can then be further processed and sent to other systems for different purposes. For example, the accounting department can use PDF Parsers to extract information from invoices or receipts and upload the total amounts and dates to the accounting system to generate various financial statements. Financial institutions can use PDF parsers to extract information from clients’ PDF files for KYC automation to expedite identity verification and customer onboarding. 

Discover how different industries utilize FormX to extract data from various documents, integrate with their apps or systems, and eventually automate their business processes here.

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What Are The Benefits of Using PDF Parsers?

As technology advances, we seek every possible solution to automate different processes that have been performed manually, and parsing PDF to automate data entry is certainly one of them. 

However, if manual data entry still takes place in all kinds of companies, why should we use PDF parser to extract data from PDF files?

Save Time and Cost While Scaling Data Extraction

Although it is easy to scale up manual data extraction since you can always hire more employees to rekey the data from PDF files, it is not the most cost-effective and efficient way. Even if you outsource the process to third parties, you will still have to deal with the associated risks.

On the other hand, PDF parsers can extract data from PDF files within seconds and employees simply have to verify the extracted information instead of manually key in all the data from scratch

Eliminate Human Errors and Improve Accuracy

Performing repetitive tasks can be quite tedious and employees might make mistakes during the process. With PDF parsers, data will be extracted automatically and accurately. Employees only have to make sure the extracted data is correct and edit it when necessary.

Transform Unstructured Data Into Structured Data Formats, such as CSV or JSON

Without the proper tools, computers cannot understand the content in PDF files in a structured way. Once the data parsed from PDF is available, it can then be processed by other technologies to organize it and generate files with structured formats, such as CSV or JSON, so that the outputs can be easily used by other systems for further processing.

Provide Better Customer Experience

Automating data extraction with PDF Parsers can significantly improve customer or user experience as customers will not have to manually input all the information. They can simply upload PDF files or images and all the requested information will be extracted and sent to the service providers within seconds, significantly shortening the processing time for the customers

How Does FormX Help You Extract Data From PDFs?

FormX is an AI-powered document data extractor that comes with a set of templates, such as receipts, business registration, passport, and more, that users can use to automatically extract data from images or PDFs with or without fixed formats.

You can simply upload the files and FormX will extract the data you need and the extracted data will be available as JSON or CSV files as shown in the image above. Other types of documents stored in PDF can also be extracted. To do so, you can collect some samples of documents, upload them to FormX to train it, and then test and verify the results.
Contact our sales team to talk about your business needs and what kinds of documents from which you wish to extract data to automate data extraction for your business!

Extract data from these documents
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Invoice
Receipts
Purchase Orders
Bank Statements
Contracts & Agreements
HR Forms & Applications
Shipping Orders & Delivery Notes
Loyalty Members Applications
Annual Reports
Business Certificates
Personnel Licenses
And much more!