PDF files are among the most common file formats you'll find out there. Because of their non-modifiable nature, they are great for sending files that need to be shared and printed exactly as they are.
However, sometimes you may need to pull out content from your PDF file. It could be a single page, a table, or an image that you want independent from the rest of the document. You might also want to manipulate the content within a PDF file like delete, move, renumber or rotate pages. But as you'll realize, most computers don't have a provision for this.
The good thing is that we have tons of third party applications out there that facilitate just that. In this article we'll go over the different types of data that can be extracted from a PDF file and how you can extract data from a PDF file using WinZip PDF Express.
As we've seen, PDF files come as read-only files. And this makes it hard to edit or extract information from them. However, there are various dedicated software and applications designed to help users extract data from PDF files.
The main types of data and content that you can extract from PDF documents include:
There are several ways to extract data and content from PDF files. However, the process also differs depending on the type of content you are trying to extract. Here are a few methods you can use.
The easiest way of extracting general text from a PDF file is by manually copying and pasting the content of the PDF document to an editable format like Microsoft Word. Simply open a PDF file and select a portion of text from a single page to several, copy the text, and paste the information on an XLS, DOC, or CSV file.
However, this can become tedious since, most of the time, copying and pasting doesn't retain the original PDF document's format. It is only advisable if you are dealing with a manageable number of PDF documents, or if you are extracting small bits of information.
If the burden of re-formatting the entire document is too heavy, you can opt to outsource manual data entry to make the work easier. Outsourcing is fast and cheap, and many online platforms have armies of data-entry freelancers based out of middle-income countries in Africa, South Asia, and South-East Asia.
Data entry professionals have different ways of ensuring they deliver high-quality documents in the same format, if not better.
Finally, you can use an application like WinZip PDF Express software to do the extraction. The software is packed with features like automated PDF data extraction that does the extraction for you.
If you have concerns regarding data security and data quality, the software provides the most holistic solution to the challenging issue of extracting data from PDF files. WinZip PDF Express employs a combination of Optical Character Recognition (OCR), Robotic Process Automation (RPA), Pattern recognition, and other techniques ideal for operating at scale and handling bulk data extraction.
Here is how you use an automated PDF data extraction tool to scrape content from a PDF file:
Step one: Open PDF Express
Step two: Decide what content you need exported. For example, you can export all images or a single image. You can also extract individual pages, or convert the PDF into a word document so that you can select the text.
Step three: Save your extracted content to your computer
As seen in this article, extracting data and content from a PDF file does not have to be that challenging. Even though manual processes like outsourcing are still effective, there is a lot that you are giving out in terms of sensitive information. We recommend trying the free trial of WinZip PDF Express for immediate, secure, and high-quality data extraction from a PDF file.