Friday, May 18, 2012

Text Extraction with Java

Documents in PDF format, are widely used and accepted within the computer world. And while it is a versatile piece of software, it does have its downsides. The most obvious being the inability to alter the document natively, therefore, text extraction is often sought after to try and make this tedious task less of an uphill struggle.

Extracting all of the useful, interesting, and relevant information from a PDF can be a daunting task, but by utilising text extraction software which is completely written in Java. The process of extraction and conversion has become increasingly crucial for the manipulation and archiving of data. With the use of a Java application, this has become extremely easy in regards to extracting text from a PDF document.

Processing and Extraction

Java PDF text extractors allow you to process one or many PDF documents relatively quick, whilst also maintaining high accuracy. Although accuracy can never be achieved 100 percent of the time, it does allow plain text to retain an approximation of the layout from the PDF in conversions.

There are a number of faults that can affect the extraction of text from PDFs, and sometimes making this process an impossibility. Some of the following scenarios make the extraction process an impossible one. If the embedded text happens to be rendered as a image or the uni-code information maybe incorrect or not exist. While sometimes, the layouts of PDFs require the guidance of specific visual glyphs, if they are utilised, during the extraction process some abnormalities can form when converting to plain text. Certain other features such as rotated or overlaid text, are afflicted with the same problem. As all these features are native in PDF format, they can only be approximated when converted into plain text.

Business Uses

By ensuring the extraction of text, meta-data, and data forms is a quick and above all accurate process, this allows for a number of benefits for business user. This can include allowing simplistic extraction of a variety of content contained within the document. Therefore, enabling the extraction of vital information in the form of phone numbers, contact and email address, and even invoicing data. As is the ability to Archiving is possibly one of the most important uses, as it allows the text and the various components within to be fully extracted, and thereafter indexed and archived accordingly.

Advantages of this Process

There are many advantages of extracting text from PDFs, and it can benefit individuals, as well as businesses alike. Being the versatile piece of software that is it, it allows for the manipulation of data extraction, as well as being able to execute a plethora of documents in a accurate and efficient way.

While the benefits of using this software far outweighs the negatives, it's always best to keep in mind that the conversion and extraction process can run into faults at times. Although, as this software has been developed further over the years, it has allowed for increased accuracy and compatibility. And with free trial software readily available, there is possibly no better time to sample the benefits of PDF text extractions. Whilst, allowing you to extract the text from within a PDF document, without all the hassle and complication usually associated with it.

Author Bio: Jonathan Cookson – contributor to