Extract Text From PDFs

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How to Extract Text from a PDF in Seconds: Use Any Computer or Mobile Device

how to extract text from a pdf

Extracting text from PDF (Portable Document Format) isn’t easy. Not many PDF readers can extract text from PDF images or scanned PDFs. The problem compounds if the PDF has graphs or tables or any other kind of non-linear data that can not be simply copied and pasted. This article will discuss how you can easily extract text from a PDF in seconds.

You want to make sure the correct text gets extracted from the PDF each time with zero mistakes. The best way to do this is with data extraction software, like Docparser

Extract Text from a PDF in seconds

Extract data faster with Docparser.

Try Docparser for free. No credit card required. 

How to Extract Text from a PDF

Step 1: Upload the PDF

Login to our OCR tool and select a PDF file to upload. You can automate this process, or upload one document at a time.

convert pdf to text

Step 2: Add Parsing Rules

Before separating text from the PDF, add rules to automate and speed up the process. That way, our system will know how to handle things like emails and phone numbers.

convert pdf to text 2

Step 3: Export and Save Your Text.

That’s pretty much it. Our app extracts your text right off the image or PDF for you to use as you desire. We even structure it for you as your rules require.

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As a cloud-based solution, Docparser is available wherever you are. Use any computer or mobile device and extract text from pdf in 30 seconds.

how to extract text from a pdf

Extract Text from a PDF in seconds

Find data faster with Docparser.

Try Docparser for free. No credit card required. 

What is OCR?

OCR stands for Optical Character Recognition. OCR is an intelligent technology that reads and extracts text from images and PDFs. This is the fastest, cheapest, and smartest way to extract text from any invoice, scanned PDF, or image. You can do this on Linux, Windows, or Mac computers and Python. 

Who can benefit from OCR technology?

who benefits ocr technology

Any company of any size can leverage OCR data entry. As we’ve reviewed, OCR can be used to transfer immutable paper documents into editable ones. In addition, documents can be transferred to computers, smartphones, tablets, and other electronic devices. 

Nearly any enterprise benefits from OCR technology but especially:

  • Banks and other financial institutions
  • Any customer-focused company 
  • Libraries
  • Schools
  • Medical practitioners
  • And others

Some documents that are the best candidates for digitalization include:

  • Invoices
  • Research articles
  • Tax documents
  • Payroll information
  • Contact information
  • Customer data
  • Legal filings
  • Financial investments
  • Among others

Examples of situations where you can use OCR technology:

Let’s say you’re on the road and pull out your cellphone to scan a client document. 

Or your team has a data dump. You want to analyze data that matters.

Or perhaps a customer sends in a scanned copy of an invoice in JPEG form instead of PDF.

Or maybe your business needs to digitize records.

Whatever the use, OCR technology makes it all possible.

How can OCR software help me?


OCR technology has a variety of benefits. It allows you to:

1. Make your files searchable

Typically in PDFs and text-based electronic images, the textual information is immutable. As a result, you have frozen text you can’t search or edit, making search slow and inefficient. So, OCR technology converts this immutable text into machine-readable and searchable text. 

This searchable text can also be copied and pasted for other uses. Unsearchable documents are essentially useless, especially when you have hundreds of pages of material you need to sift through to find what you need to see. 

2. Make editing easier 

Businesses are constantly changing and evolving. Change is inevitable. Each aspect of your company needs to be flexible enough to adjust to these fluctuations. OCR increases the adaptability of your changes. Your inflexible documents are turned into easily editable documents. 

OCR is required to convert the PDFs into editable documents. As a result, you don’t need to copy, paste, and compose a new document any time a change is made. Instead, OCR allows you to change only the part you need to change.

3. Prevent errors

To err is to human and human errors are unavoidable. Because of this, having editable documents is a requirement. More than that, you want technology to detect mistakes in your document. Human errors can resolve in no time through OCR technology.

4. Save Time and Money

OCR technology reduces your business’s paperwork. Some enterprises have ancient practices like continuing to keep documents in paper form. OCR significantly reduces the time and money spent manually entering data into your computer. Use the OCR technology to scan the printed documents containing text and digitize them one by one.

5. Save office space

Papers take up a lot of space in your office: an area that can be used for anything other than paper documents. 

Store your invoices, receipts, inventory lists, and other documents that require space and manual handling. Keep your area organized with digitized documents.

6. Increase productivity

OCR technology helps your business achieve greater efficiency by facilitating faster data retrieval. Documents are editable, searchable, and easily accessible locations on your computer or server. Don’t waste your employees’ time by having them search through file cabinets tirelessly. Instead, have them put their energy towards other productive actions in your office.

7. Increase data security

Sure, there are hackers, but paper documents are also prone to loss. For example, paper documents can be misplaced, stolen, burned, or destroyed by natural elements in other ways like by floods or rodents. Also, access to the files can be minimized to prevent mishandling or prevent unwanted users from gaining access.

8. Improve customer service

Most inbound call centers need to provide quickly accessible data to their clientele. Quick data accessibility is essential to businesses relying on customer information retrieval. OCR systematically stores and retrieves the documents digitally at hasty speeds. As a result, waiting time is reduced, customers are satisfied, improving customer retention and even future conversions.

9. Recover from disasters

Disaster recovery and data redundancy are significant benefits of OCR technology. When data is digitized in a secure place, it remains safe in any situation. Mind you, you want to distribute these documents by backing them up to multiple servers in different locations. Nature disasters, while unlikely, do happen. 

10. Simplicity

OCR and specifically Zonal OCR, allows you to extract text from specific locations or zones in a scanned document. Both of these technologies make it easier to upload your documents. 

Docparser, in particular, lets you batch upload your documents. You can drag and drop your documents from your local disk, or you can use our API or cloud integrations to import important documents automatically.

Now, what exactly are PDFs?

PDFs, Portable Document Formats, were created by Adobe in the 1990s. It’s an open file format used for exchanging electronic documents. Documents, forms, images, and web pages in PDF form are easily accessed and correctly displayed on any device.  

If you don’t remember anything about PDFs, remember they are layout preservers. No matter what device you use, the integrity of the document remains.

A few fun and interesting facts about PDFs

What type of text can you extract from PDFs?

  • Invoices
  • Purchase Orders
  • Application Forms
  • Standardized Contracts
  • Shipping Orders
  • Delivery Notes
  • Work Orders
  • Generated Report
  • Bank Statements
  • Fillable PDF Form

Docparser makes it not just easy and convenient to extract data from PDF, it can also make it programmed and automatic. In addition, it can also extract text from PDFs using a command line.

Once you upload your document, you can extract text from PDFs to convert PDFs to Spreadsheets, MS Word, JSON, XML, and CSV files.

Our superb parsing engine comes packed with parsing presets that can be customized as per your business requirements. For example, if your PDF contains tabular or graphic data, use our parsing engine. Once you have set up your parsing rules, Docparser will take care of the rest. It remembers your settings for the same type of documents and files, so you don’t have to set it up over and over again.

Suppose you have a batch of files from which you need to extract text–no worries! You can also upload the collection of files and process them simultaneously, thus saving you time and effort.

Docparser can also be integrated with 100s of apps at the front end or back end of your business workflow. These integrations make your data extraction process automatic. You can import documents using the integrations and extract text from them, or you can extract the data and get it exported in any app or format that you like.

PDF to Text integrations

All in all, if your business deals with a vast amount of PDFs – of any type i.e., images, scanned files, you can safely and securely use Docparser to automate your business workflow. Once set up, data extraction from the PDFs works automatically without any manual intervention.

Why use a Cloud-based approach for PDF Text Extraction?


In cloud environments, your information isn’t stored on a single computer. It’s instead stored in “cloud spaces.” Of course, we’re not talking about an actual cloud, but this allows you to access data on mobile devices like smartphones, tablets, laptops, and others. As a result, business files and other data can be easily accessed from anyone, anywhere.

Using cloud-based solutions like Docparser makes it possible for remote teams to access the data. As a result, it improves productivity and business efficiency.


PDF or other file processing occurs on our servers. There’s no need to worry about the compatibility of your software or devices. You also need not worry about sifting through endless file cabinets for the correct file. Uploading documents as PDFs improves access speed.

Disaster recovery and backup

Disasters are unpredictable and unavoidable. No one knows when a disaster will occur, and there’s little to do to prevent them.

IT disasters can result in financial losses and unproductive hours. Cloud-based software offers speedy disaster recovery by providing off-site backups for all your business data. As a result, you don’t need to invest in expensive backups or other recovery systems (although we recommend you do anyway).


Cloud-based applications are easily scaled up or down. They quickly adapt to a constantly changing company’s needs. Things like data storage capacity, processing speed, and networking can be scaled using cloud-based applications. Scaling can also be done quickly with little to no downtime.

Software updates

The service provider frequently updates Cloud-based software. Automatic updates save your in-house IT department time and any costs associated with outside consultations.

As a cloud-based solution, Docparser is available wherever you are. Use any computer or mobile device and extract text from the PDF in 30 seconds.

Some key benefits of Docparser include:

  • Batch converting PDFs to Excel, CSV, JSON, or XML
  • Extracting data from PDFs as we learned today
  • Fully automated document-based workflows
  • Eliminating the need for manual data entry

OCR technology is the present and the future of the PDF. OCRs increase productivity, data security, improve customer service, disaster recovery, prevent errors, and save you time and money.

Extracting text from your documents and converting them to PDFs saves your company from catastrophic data failures and speeds up document accessibility. Increase your productivity and company’s profits by migrating your paper documents to a cloud-based OCR application.

Do you have any custom business requirements? Not sure how to fit Docparser in your workflow? Need to extract data from your custom PDFs? Let us know, and we will reach out to you to help.

Extract Text from a PDF in seconds

Find data faster with Docparser.

Try Docparser for free. No credit card required. 

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