Convert PDF to XML – Turn PDF files into structured XML data with Docparser

This post covers how to use Docparser for PDF to XML conversion. You’ll learn why converting PDF to XML is usually a challenging task and how easy it is to convert PDF to XML with Docparser.

Why Converting PDF to XML is not as easy as it sounds

PDF documents are ubiquitous and PDF is the go-to format when it comes to exchanging data between business entities. However, accessing the data stored inside PDF data is a challenging task to automate. PDF was basically invented to be a replacement for traditional paper documents. While the PDF standard guarantees the exact same visualization on any device, it does not provide structuring tags (as we know it from formats like HTML) which would allow a computer to easily ‘understand’ the data.

In other words, the visual representation of the data inside a PDF document is usually the only data stored inside a document. This means that PDF documents don’t allow to ‘just export’ all data in a structured way and save it to another format like XML, CSV, Excel, …

Is converting PDF to XML even possible?

Absolutely! You need however a PDF data extraction software. Docparser is a PDF data extraction solution built for the modern cloud stack. Our integration options allow you to automate document-based business processes and eliminate the need to manually re-keying document data.

How to convert PDF to XML with Docparser?

Convert PDF to XML with Docparser

PDF to XML conversion is easy with Docparser. The basic steps for getting started are:

  1. Create a free account
  2. Create a document parser for each type of PDF document you want to process
  3. Upload more documents of the same type manually or through our integration options
  4. Obtain the parsed data as XML files or let Docparser send the extracted data directly to your API with webhooks.

Sounds complicated? It isn’t. Have a look at our introduction screencast to see how easy it is to set up Docparser:



Our PDF parsing tools allow you to set unique filters and rules to extract exactly the data you need and convert it to XML. Options range from table row parsing to searching for text in variable locations on PDFs. Additionally, our smart filters allow you to format data along the way. Our flexible architecture allows you to chain up multiple text manipulation filters until your data is precisely in the format you need it to be.

Once you have your layout parser setup and properly extracting the data you want, it’s time to create an XML download link

Simply go into the Docparser app, and navigate to the “Download Links”, as seen below. You will be prompted for a Name and the specifics that you would like to include in your download.

pdf to xml

That’s it, you will see this download, along with any others that you have created for this layout parser. Want additional flexibility moving your PDF data? Check out our API or contact us.

Who uses Docparser for PDF to XML conversion?

The Docparser user base ranges from Wholesale to Accountants, Consultants, as well as Retail businesses, (and a lot in-between). When your inbox is stuffed with PDF invoicespurchase orders, and PDF forms, you can either manually extract that data and copy it into its final resting place, OR you can utilize our tools to extract the data and send it nearly anywhere.



4 Responses

  1. We are searching for a partner that will allow our users to convert pdf invoices to UBL. We’d like to know if we can somehow build an integration on your API to accomplish this.

      1. Hi Stefan! Docparser does not have a built-in UBL download option which you can use out of the box. Our Webhook feature allows you however to build your own XML template which follows the UBL standard.

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