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Convert PDF to Text using Python

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2022-09-06 10:19:44 • Filed to: Knowledge of PDF Files • Proven solutions

So you are here because you are looking to convert PDF to text using Python. Well, you are in the right place because we are going to show you two handy methods to convert PDF to text Python. If you don't already know, Python is an object-oriented programming language that is used to develop web applications software prototypes, and data science. Let's now find out how you can convert PDF to text using Python.

Converting PDF to text with Python is not straightforward, especially for newbies. Also, it's hard to convert scanned PDFs to text with Python. If you are looking for a more simple way to convert PDF, including scanned PDF to text, you can use Wondershare PDFelement - PDF Editor. It's an easy-to-use PDF editor that can convert PDF to TXT, Word, Excel, PPT, etc., and vice versa. With OCR technology, it can extract text and data from PDF images. Batch conversion is supported.

Convert PDF to Text with Python via pdftotext Module

To convert PDF to text using Python, you need the following tools.

1: Poppler for Windows

It is a PDF rendering library that also includes the pdftoppm utility.

2: pdftotext Module

It is a Python module that wraps the utility to convert PDF to text.

How to install the required PDF to Text Python tools

To install Poppler on windows, add xxx/bin/ to env path that will install Poppler in the required location. Then pip install pdftotext module that converts PDF to text while you run your query at Python.

After the Poppler and pdftotext module is installed on Windows, write and compile the following code to make it work.

1 import pdftotext
2
3 # Load your PDF
4 with open("Target.pdf", "rb") as f:
5 pdf = pdftotext.PDF(f)
6
7 # Save all text to a txt file.
8 with open('output.txt', 'w') as f:
9 f.write("\n\n".join(pdf))

How does this code works?

Import pdftotext: With this query, it will call the pdftotext module to initiate the conversion process.

# Load your PDF: This piece of code will load your PDF file in the compiler.

The code on lines 4 to 9 will choose and convert the PDF file into text and an output will be saved in the selected destination. So, this is how you convert PDF to Text using Python.


Convert PDF to Text with Python via PyPDF2

This method will use an external module called PyPDF2 to convert PDF to text. This PyPDF2 package can allow you to convert, split, merge, crop PDFs. To install PyPDF2, use the command line below:

C:\Users\Admin>pip install PyPDF2

Once the module is installed, you can convert PDF to text with Python by using the following code.

# importing required modules
import PyPDF2

# creating a pdf file object
pdfFileObj = open('example.pdf', 'rb')

# creating a pdf reader object
pdfReader = PyPDF2.PdfFileReader(pdfFileObj)

# printing number of pages in pdf file
print(pdfReader.numPages)

# creating a page object
pageObj = pdfReader.getPage(0)

# extracting text from page
print(pageObj.extractText())

# closing the pdf file object
pdfFileObj.close()


Advantages and Disadvantages of Converting PDF to Text with Python

Let's first find out the advantages of converting PDF to text with Python.

Python is a programming language that can be used to do anything you can imagine. And when it comes to file-format conversion, Python is a wonderful tool to do that because there are several modules available for such purpose. With these modules, it is very easy to convert PDF to text, image, and other formats.

When talking about the disadvantages, the biggest disadvantage of using Python is that you need to learn Python first which will take lots of your time. Also, it has very limited options and functionalities to convert a scanned PDF file to text and can result in manipulated text.

Now, if you feel that the file conversion using Python will be a headache, we have got an alternative method for you, i.e., conversion of PDF to Text without Python. Let's learn how to do it without Python.


How to Convert PDF to Text without Python

To convert PDF to text, all you need is Wondershare PDFelement - PDF Editor. It is one of the best tools at the moment that is used to create and edit PDF files. With it, you can perform a plethora of different tasks including file format conversion, form creation, and digital signing. Let's explore some best of the best features below.

  • PDF creation - PDF file can be created as easily as creating a normal MS word file. You can add images, colors, and much more in your PDF files.
  • PDF editing - Got a PDF file from someone and need to edit it before forwarding it to someone else? Using this tool, you can literally edit any file with full ease and control.
  • File format conversion - Not only PDF to text and vice versa but you can also convert from PDF to about 300 other formats and vice versa just with some clicks.
  • Form creation - You can create advanced and complex forms with just one click. With this feature, you can also edit the existing forms, as well as, fill the forms right from your PC without downloading and printing them.
  • OCR - With OCR (Optical Character Recognition), you can easily convert the scanned PDF files into an editable format and further can convert them into any other format. Sounds interesting?

There are many other features in PDFelement that cannot be ignored easily. It can easily outclass other similar software because none of the other software has that many features combined. Let's now check the step-by-step guide to converting PDF to Text.

Step 1: Open PDF File

First, launch PDFelement and open the PDF file to convert it. To open the file, click the "Open File…" button, locate the file in your PC, select it, and click the "Open" button.

pdf to text python

Step 2: Convert PDF to Text

Now, click "Convert" in the menu bar and then click "To Text" in the sub-menu bar.

python pdf to text

Step 3: Select the Output Folder

In the last step, select the output or destination folder where the converted file will be saved, and click on the "Save" button. As soon as you click the "Save" button, the PDF file will be converted to text format within a moment and will be saved at the selected destination. So, this is how you convert PDF to text without using Python or any other complex language.

convert pdf to text python

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Elise Williams

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