PDF (Portable Document Format) is a file format which is used to present and exchange documents reliably, independent of software, hardware, or operating system. PDF was invented by Adobe and is now an open standard maintained by ISO. Nowadays PDF files are compatible and generated by majority of software applications. PDF documents can contain all types of media in them like links, inout form fields, video and can be signed electronically.
It depends on the type of pdf file which can be either a searchable or image based.
That depends on the volume, type (image/searchable) and the amount of text/data you need to process from each pdf file;
Single/Multipage low volume:
To be honest, if we are talking about few pdf files per day, it’s not a huge challenge to manually extract data and key in that data in your line of business system. So it won’t make any sense to introduce automation, as it is going to be an overkill.
Single/Multipage high volume:
In this case data entry operator has to individually open each pdf file, locate the data fields from the correct pages, then copy/paste data in case of searchable pdf. It would get harder for the operator to manually type in the text in the destination system when pdf is not searchable. Formatting the dates, numbers during data entry process would further make it more time consuming and error prone.
So using a modern data capture cloud based software like DocAcquire to automate data entry process would yield a huge ROI to any business.
If you simply want to convert a pdf file to any other standard format then you can use the following tools;
If your requirement is to extract only key (specific) data fields from pdf files. An example would be Invoice Date, Invoice Number, Tax, Total from a Supplier Invoice. If you are also looking to store extracted data in the structured format like Excel, Microsoft SQL Server, Microsoft Sharepoint or in your business system.
If above is the case, you are looking for an “automated data capture software” which is based on Optical Character Recognition (OCR) and Machine Learning.
Majority of modern automated data capture platforms are build on workflow system. A typical document extraction workflow goes through the following stages;
A variety of file types like pdf files and scanned images can be uploaded to data capture software. These documents can come from an array of sources;
DocAcquire has a strong integrations engine which enables to import documents from wide variety of sources.
Every document is classified based on the its layout and the content. Once classified, the document is ready for the next stage for data extraction. System marks the document as Unclassified if it can’t recognise the document layout and content. In such case the document needs to be trained.
Once the document is classified, based on the initial training the required data/fields are extracted. Once the data extraction is done, the document is sent for the next stage of the workflow for verification.
This is the stage where a human operator comes in and verifies the extracted data, fixes any potential errors and marks the document Ready for next stage for Export. This is normally less time consuming process as majority of the heavy lifting is already done by the data extraction software. The involvement of a human to verify the extracted data guarantees the maximum accuracy of data after data extraction.
At this stage, a document extraction is already done and data is verified by a human operator, the data is then exported to the selected destination.
DocAcquire is a modern cloud based data capture software which can extract data from variety of file formats like pdf, png, jpeg and tiff. By default DocAcquire uses OCR engine called Tesseract to read the text from documents.
DocAcquire Key features for pdf data extraction
Here is a quick sneak peak of DocAcquire which shows how easier is it to get started. Hope you found this blog helpful and if you have any specific question please Contact Us and we would be more than happy to help.
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