[Solved] Extracting text from a PDF file using PDFMiner in python?

I am looking for documentation or examples on how to extract text from a PDF file using PDFMiner with Python.

It looks like PDFMiner updated their API and all the relevant examples I have found contain outdated code(classes and methods have changed). The libraries I have found that make the task of extracting text from a PDF file easier are using the old PDFMiner syntax so I’m not sure how to do this.

As it is, I’m just looking at source-code to see if I can figure it out.

Solution #1:

Here is a working example of extracting text from a PDF file using the current version of PDFMiner(September 2016)

from pdfminer.pdfinterp import PDFResourceManager, PDFPageInterpreter
from pdfminer.converter import TextConverter
from pdfminer.layout import LAParams
from pdfminer.pdfpage import PDFPage
from io import StringIO

def convert_pdf_to_txt(path):
    rsrcmgr = PDFResourceManager()
    retstr = StringIO()
    codec = 'utf-8'
    laparams = LAParams()
    device = TextConverter(rsrcmgr, retstr, codec=codec, laparams=laparams)
    fp = open(path, 'rb')
    interpreter = PDFPageInterpreter(rsrcmgr, device)
    password = ""
    maxpages = 0
    caching = True
    pagenos=set()

    for page in PDFPage.get_pages(fp, pagenos, maxpages=maxpages, password=password,caching=caching, check_extractable=True):
        interpreter.process_page(page)

    text = retstr.getvalue()

    fp.close()
    device.close()
    retstr.close()
    return text

PDFMiner’s structure changed recently, so this should work for extracting text from the PDF files.

Edit : Still working as of the June 7th of 2018. Verified in Python Version 3.x

Edit: The solution works with Python 3.7 at October 3, 2019. I used the Python library pdfminer.six, released on November 2018.

Respondent: DuckPuncher

Solution #2:

terrific answer from DuckPuncher, for Python3 make sure you install pdfminer2 and do:

import io

from pdfminer.pdfinterp import PDFResourceManager, PDFPageInterpreter
from pdfminer.converter import TextConverter
from pdfminer.layout import LAParams
from pdfminer.pdfpage import PDFPage


def convert_pdf_to_txt(path):
    rsrcmgr = PDFResourceManager()
    retstr = io.StringIO()
    codec = 'utf-8'
    laparams = LAParams()
    device = TextConverter(rsrcmgr, retstr, codec=codec, laparams=laparams)
    fp = open(path, 'rb')
    interpreter = PDFPageInterpreter(rsrcmgr, device)
    password = ""
    maxpages = 0
    caching = True
    pagenos = set()

    for page in PDFPage.get_pages(fp, pagenos, maxpages=maxpages,
                                  password=password,
                                  caching=caching,
                                  check_extractable=True):
        interpreter.process_page(page)



    fp.close()
    device.close()
    text = retstr.getvalue()
    retstr.close()
    return text
Respondent: juan Isaza

Solution #3:

This works in May 2020 using PDFminer six in Python3.

Installing the package

$ pip install pdfminer.six

Importing the package

from pdfminer.high_level import extract_text

Using a PDF saved on disk

text = extract_text('report.pdf')

Or alternatively:

with open('report.pdf','rb') as f:
    text = extract_text(f)

Using PDF already in memory

If the PDF is already in memory, for example if retrieved from the web with the requests library, it can be converted to a stream using the io library:

import io

response = requests.get(url)
text = extract_text(io.BytesIO(response.content))

Performance and Reliability compared with PyPDF2

PDFminer.six works more reliably than PyPDF2 (which fails with certain types of PDFs), in particular PDF version 1.7

However, text extraction with PDFminer.six is significantly slower than PyPDF2 by a factor of 6.

I timed text extraction with timeit on a 15″ MBP (2018), timing only the extraction function (no file opening etc.) with a 10 page PDF and got the following results:

PDFminer.six: 2.88 sec
PyPDF2:       0.45 sec

pdfminer.six also has a huge footprint, requiring pycryptodome which needs GCC and other things installed pushing a minimal install docker image on Alpine Linux from 80 MB to 350 MB. PyPDF2 has no noticeable storage impact.

Respondent: Cornelius Roemer

Solution #4:

Full disclosure, I am one of the maintainers of pdfminer.six.

Nowadays, there are multiple api’s to extract text from a PDF, depending on your needs. Behind the scenes, all of these api’s use the same logic for parsing and analyzing the layout.

(All the examples assume your PDF file is called example.pdf)

Commandline

If you want to extract text just once you can use the commandline tool pdf2txt.py:

$ pdf2txt.py example.pdf

High-level api

If you want to extract text with Python, you can use the high-level api. This approach is the go-to solution if you want to extract text programmatically from many PDF’s.

from pdfminer.high_level import extract_text

text = extract_text('example.pdf')

Composable api

There is also a composable api that gives a lot of flexibility in handling the resulting objects. For example, you can implement your own layout algorithm using that. This method is suggested in the other answers, but I would only recommend this when you need to customize the way pdfminer.six behaves.

from io import StringIO

from pdfminer.converter import TextConverter
from pdfminer.layout import LAParams
from pdfminer.pdfdocument import PDFDocument
from pdfminer.pdfinterp import PDFResourceManager, PDFPageInterpreter
from pdfminer.pdfpage import PDFPage
from pdfminer.pdfparser import PDFParser

output_string = StringIO()
with open('example.pdf', 'rb') as in_file:
    parser = PDFParser(in_file)
    doc = PDFDocument(parser)
    rsrcmgr = PDFResourceManager()
    device = TextConverter(rsrcmgr, output_string, laparams=LAParams())
    interpreter = PDFPageInterpreter(rsrcmgr, device)
    for page in PDFPage.create_pages(doc):
        interpreter.process_page(page)

print(output_string.getvalue())
Respondent: Pieter

Solution #5:

this code is tested with pdfminer for python 3 (pdfminer-20191125)

from pdfminer.layout import LAParams
from pdfminer.converter import PDFPageAggregator
from pdfminer.pdfinterp import PDFResourceManager
from pdfminer.pdfinterp import PDFPageInterpreter
from pdfminer.pdfpage import PDFPage
from pdfminer.layout import LTTextBoxHorizontal

def parsedocument(document):
    # convert all horizontal text into a lines list (one entry per line)
    # document is a file stream
    lines = []
    rsrcmgr = PDFResourceManager()
    laparams = LAParams()
    device = PDFPageAggregator(rsrcmgr, laparams=laparams)
    interpreter = PDFPageInterpreter(rsrcmgr, device)
    for page in PDFPage.get_pages(document):
            interpreter.process_page(page)
            layout = device.get_result()
            for element in layout:
                if isinstance(element, LTTextBoxHorizontal):
                    lines.extend(element.get_text().splitlines())
    return lines
Respondent: Brault Gilbert

The answers/resolutions are collected from stackoverflow, are licensed under cc by-sa 2.5 , cc by-sa 3.0 and cc by-sa 4.0 .

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