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

A PDF parser extracts data from PDF files so that businesses can automate document processing. Learn more about how PDF parsers can be of help to various industries.

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 analyzes and extracts raw data from PDF files. Businesses have adopted PDF parsing to optimize different processes and hugely benefited from it.

In this blog post, we will be talking about:

Why were PDF Parsers created?

Portal Document Format, or PDF, has been one of the most important file types since businesses can scan different documents, such as invoices, receipts, address proofs, etc., into PDF files so that data or information can be exchanged or stored electronically.

This convenient file type, nonetheless, still comes with its disadvantages. To extract the information or data from PDF files, the go-to solution is usually manual data entry because the data is usually stored as images or in unstructured ways, making it difficult for computers to understand. 

However, manual data entry is inefficient and error-prone. PDF Parsers were then created to replace the manual process and can extract data from: 

  • 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 so that clients will not have to type it one by one when asked to verify their identity. 

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.

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
Ready to get started?
Schedule a demo
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!