Extract Text from PDF Image Through OCR

Extract Text from PDF Image Through OCR

Portable Document Format (PDFs) are meant to be a format that cannot be edited. It displays the text as it is. This means that copy-pasting or extracting data can be difficult. Therefore, to extract text from PDF image is not possible through a simple copy paste job.

The PDF documents are essentially an image from which data cannot be easily pasted on any other document. Rather, the entire text will be copy-pasted as an image. This creates the need for having specialized Optical Character Recognition (OCR)software that can allow to extract text from PDF images.

OCR scans a document and identifies signs of text in it. Whether they are alphabet, numbers, or characters the pattern recognition algorithms will identify data from any part of the document. The OCR extractor then converts the image into the text on the document itself or extracts the text from a document after the recognition is made in a separate module. The OCR extractor is a part of technology that has various domains and applications.

Why Use OCR Extractor to Extract Text from PDF Image?

If OCR is not used, all the text has to be manually extracted. To extract text from PDF, and OCR extractor is a must The organization may require to extract text from PDF Image and transfer it to an excel or word document to further make amendments or analyse it. Manual data entry or copy-pasting can lead to inaccuracy as well as is a time-consuming process. An OCR extractor can extract text from PDF and other data as well, almost instantly.

Problems in Extracting Text from PDF Documents

Here are some of the major challenges that one may expect while extracting data from PDF documents through an OCR extractor:

 1. PDF Document is an Image

If the PDF document from which text is being extracted was an image converted to a PDF document, then the OCR applications will find it difficult to recognise and capture that information. If the document was initially text-based, OCR would easily identify capture and extract the data.

2. Tables in PDF Document

Not all OCR extractors are equally good for to extract text from PDF Images. Most OCR extractors treat text that is aligned horizontally as a line. This can have an impact on recognizing tables and capturing them accurately. This issue becomes even more complicated for nested tables i.e. a table within a table.

3. Image Clarity

How clear the image plays an important role in accurate data extraction through OCR. An OCR extractor that has processed several images will be able to extract from images, irrespective of how light or dark the images are.

Intelligent OCR: Smart Way To Extract Text from PDF Image

OCR identifies letters, characters, symbols and other textual content by recognising patterns of light and dark areas. Most modern and efficient OCR technologies today are capable of understanding numerous fonts in documents, blocks as well as cursive handwritten text. Old OCR technology was designed with limited fonts to extract text from PDF documents.

Here is how the OCR technology works. Users first upload scanned images of the documents on the systems. The technology recognizes line items and those documents character by character, by going through entire documents carefully. Once the algorithms read data from the OCR, the system extracts and converts documents to editable texts. Users can export these documents as PDF, CSV, JSON or Excel files or convert them to different file formats.

The new and updated OCR systems have detection features such as pattern recognition where every character or symbol is analyzed instead of just detecting the font.

Let’s understand how the system recognises the letter “A”. A rule will be specified to a program to detect “A” as two-angled strokes making a pointed end at a top and having a horizontal line crossing between the two strokes. Irrespective of which font is used, the character “A” will be identified by the system.

Complex OCR solutions can also go above and beyond simple text extraction, Tables, layouts, columns and other variety of data extraction are possible to extract text from PDF image and other documents.

Most OCRs can deliver anywhere between 95% to 99% accuracy in terms of extracting data. But to extract text from PDF image or any other document with 100% accuracy, manual proofreading of some degree is required after the data is extracted automatically. Intelligent OCR takes a different form of AI models at identifying and recognizing a various number of fonts and handwriting styles. Documents, apart from PDF, can be scanned images or handwritten block letter documents. But this reduces the number of checks required manually as the systems get a contextual understanding as more documents are processed.

There are OCR systems that can also provide error-correction features and can convert extracted data to different languages. This can be a huge boon for users as well as organizations. The clearer the documents are, the more accurate will be the extraction of data.

The KlearStack Edge

KlearStack AI uses Intelligent OCR that can capture just not data to extract text from PDF image or other documents but also get the contextual meaning of the document to ensure that data fields are automatically field in while processing documents such as invoices, receipts and so on. For instance, KlearStack AI can easily differentiate between who is the supplier and the distributor if invoices from the same vendor are processed over and again. The AI, using machine learning, can evolve and learn from such inputs.

KlearStack AI is an Intelligent Document Processing software that can allow data extraction, validation and classification from a  variety of documents. With almost 90% accuracy in the data extraction of the physical documents such as invoices, receipts, bills of lading, loan documents and so on,

KlearStack AI can enable end-to-end automation that will reduce your organization’s costs and bring along efficiency in the operations of your business. To extract text from PDF image with ease, get in touch by clicking here.

Ashutosh Saitwal
Ashutosh Saitwal

Ashutosh is the founder and director of the award winning KlearStack AI platform. You can catch him speaking at NASSCOM events around the world where he speaks and is an evangelist for RPA, AI, Machine Learning and Intelligent Document Processing.