PDF FILE Scraping: Making Modern File Formats More Accessible

Information scraping is the process of automatically sorting through information contained on the internet within html, PDF or other paperwork and collecting relevant information in order to into databases and spreadsheets at a later time retrieval. On most websites, the text is definitely and accessibly written in the resource code but an increasing number of businesses are making use of Adobe PDF format (Portable Document Format: A format which can be viewed by the free Adobe Acrobat software program on almost any operating system. See below for a link. ). The advantage of PDF format is that the document looks exactly the same no matter which computer you view it from making it ideal for business forms, standards sheets, etc .; the disadvantage is that the text is converted into an image from which you often cannot easily copy and paste. PDF Scraping is the procedure for data scraping information contained in PDF files. To PDF scrape the PDF document, you must employ a more diverse set of tools.

There are two main varieties of PDF files: those built from a text file and those built from an image (likely scanned in). Adobe’s very own software is capable of PDF scraping from text-based PDF files but exclusive tools are needed for PDF scratching text from image-based PDF documents. The primary tool for PDF scraping is the OCR program. OCR, or Optical Character Recognition, programs check a document for small photos that they can separate into letters. These types of pictures are then compared to actual letters and if matches are found, the letters are copied into a document. OCR programs can perform PDF scraping of image-based PDF files quite accurately but they are not perfect.

Once the OCR program or Adobe plan has finished PDF scraping a document, you can search through the data to find the parts you are most interested in. This information can then be stored into your preferred database or spreadsheet program.
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A few PDF scraping programs can type the data into databases and/or spreadsheets automatically making your job that much easier.

25 Replies to “PDF FILE Scraping: Making Modern File Formats More Accessible”

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