Data Extraction from PDFs: The Best Tool and Techniques

PDFs are ubiquitous in every organization, serving as the go-to format for sharing and exchanging business data. However, extracting, editing, or parsing data from these files can be a lot of work to do.

In today’s data-driven world, efficiently extracting information from PDF documents is essential.

This article talks about the problems with getting data from PDFs and shows how to extract data from PDFs to Excel online. Whether you need to get text, and tables, or make PDFs searchable, we’ll cover solutions that are fast, accurate, and easy to use.

Challenges in PDF Data Extraction:

Let’s explore some of the key challenges encountered in PDF data extraction, shedding light on why what may seem like a simple task can often become quite complex.

  1. Manual PDF text extraction requires meticulous attention to detail, making it a time-consuming endeavor. A slight error can lead to inefficiencies and potential errors.
  2. Human errors are common in manual extraction, potentially impacting the accuracy of the extracted data.
  3. Unlike other document formats like DOC, XLS, or CSV, editing PDF data is not straightforward, hindering customization according to specific requirements.
  4. Extracting data from tables in PDFs often results in the loss of original formatting, making it challenging to maintain data integrity.

How to Extract Data from PDF Files in 2024:

Extracting data from PDFs used to be a lot of work when the technology hadn’t advanced back in the days. However, now, with the advent of AI, OCR, and NLP, you don’t have to spend hours on manually extracting the data.

All you need is an efficient tool like AlgoDocs that does the job for you accurately and easily. Let’s look at different PDF data extraction methods in 2024:

Do it Manually

While not the preferred method in 2024, manual data extraction remains a necessity for startups or beginners who are not ready to invest in good PDF data extraction software or are new to technology. Whether handling school documents, business reports, medical records, or any other file type, manual extraction is still widely utilized, although it is considered a less refined approach.

Use Adobe Acrobat

For more professional-grade PDF page extraction, Adobe Acrobat is a solid option. Although it’s not free, you can try it out with a 7-day free trial.

Adobe Acrobat offers various plans, with Acrobat Pro starting at $19.99/month. This plan includes a range of features to streamline your document management process.

Adobe Acrobat retains all interactive components of the PDF, including hyperlinks, comments, and forms. It allows you to extract any number of pages and save them as separate files or split the PDF into multiple PDFs, but all at a cost. You wouldn’t think it’s free, right?

While Adobe Acrobat is a well-established tool for working with PDFs, it lacks the advanced data extraction capabilities of automated data extraction tools like AlgoDocs. Such a tool utilizes the latest technology to extract a wide range of information from PDFs and images, including handwriting, tables, and key-value pairs. This extracted data can then be exported into usable formats like CSV or Excel, making it ideal for integrating with accounting software or further analysis. In contrast, Adobe Acrobat offers limited data extraction functionalities.

Automate Data Extraction with AI-powered OCR Technology

What if you need to extract pages based on their content?

Consider a scenario where you need to extract and analyze all invoices or pages containing specific key values such as names, dates, emails, total, address, etc. In such cases, an AI-powered OCR (Optical Character Recognition) tool can be invaluable.

One important and powerful tool is AlgoDocs which we’re going to discuss in detail later in the article. It is the easiest way to get data from PDFs to Excel.

Automated PDF Data Extraction: AlgoDocs

Experience the power of AlgoDocs, an innovative AI data extraction platform designed to streamline your document processing workflow. With AlgoDocs, you can effortlessly extract valuable information from scanned files, including images, PDFs, Word, and Excel files. Whether these are HR forms, bank statements, purchase lists, or sales invoices, AlgoDocs handles them all with high accuracy.

Gone are the days of manual data extraction. AlgoDocs empowers you to access and extract editable data effortlessly. Now get rid of the tedious tasks and say hello to editable formats like Excel, JSON, and XML, and seamless integrations with other software such as accounting or databases.

Best of all, AlgoDocs offers a forever free subscription plan, allowing you to process up to 50 pages per month without any cost, so you can extract data from PDFs for free!

Key Features of AlgoDocs PDF Extraction:

  • AlgoDocs automates the extraction of tables from scanned files, including handwritten tables and those spanning multiple pages.
  • The advanced AI-powered OCR engine can handle low-quality scanned PDFs and images at as low as 75 dpi.
  • Using Intelligent Character Recognition (ICR) functions, AlgoDocs can extract handwritten text and convert it into machine-printed text.
  • AlgoDocs can extract data, fields, and tables from native and scanned documents and save them as Excel, JSON, or XML files.

Get Started in Minutes:

The screencast video below shows how to quickly convert PDF files and photos into editable formats like Microsoft Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Text, or RTF. Moreover, a summary of the steps required for transforming a PDF into an editable Excel file is provided below.
Convert PDF files and images into editable files in less than a minute.

Step 1: Log in to your AlgoDocs account.

Step 2: From the Dashboard, click on the File Manager tab

Step 3: Right-click on the root , and a drop-down menu will pop up showing available options such as Convert PDF/Image to Editable Files

Step 4: Click on Convert PDF/Image to Editable Files .

Step 5: Click on the blue button labeled + Choose files, which allows you to upload your file. Once you select the PDF or image, it will be uploaded.

Step 6: Next, select the document language from the language drop-down menu. Feel free to select more than one language, if your file has multilanguage text.

Step 7: Select the desired output file format, from the Output file type, drop-down menu. In this demonstration, we will select Excel. The other output types include MS Word, PowerPoint, Text, RTF, and HTML

Step 8: The next step is to upload files by clicking on the Upload button , and the magic will start (AlgoDocs will process the file in no time).

Step 9: Once the conversion is complete, the uploaded document will disappear from the pop-up window, and you can click on the Close buttonlocated at the bottom right corner to go back to the File Manager window.

Step 10: Walla, an icon to access and download the converted Excel file is shown to the left of the file type icon.

Step 11: As soon as you click on the Excel icon, the file will be downloaded.

Figure 1. shows a sample PDF used for this demonstration, and Figure 2. shows the output Excel file.

Figure 1. A sample PDF file was uploaded and processed by AlgoDocs.

Figure 2. The Excel file produced by AlgoDocs that contains the content of the uploaded PDF.

Highly accurate results & Data Protection

At AlgoDocs, your data security is our top priority. We employ advanced features to ensure accuracy and compliance, especially in today’s digital landscape filled with security concerns. With AlgoDocs, you can trust that your information is safeguarded at all times. Rest assured, our data extraction processes adhere to the highest standards of security and precision.

One of the standout features is the AI Handwriting Recognizer, a powerful tool within AlgoDocs. It seamlessly converts handwritten text into machine-printed text with exceptional accuracy.

Even if the quality of the PDF or scanned documents is poor, our technology does wonders in recognizing the characters to provide accurate results.


  • AlgoDocs allows easy organization, storage, updating, and retrieval of documents, reducing the risk of misplacing or losing important data.
  • With AlgoDocs, data extraction from large numbers of documents is quick and efficient, boosting productivity, especially when dealing with large volumes of documents.
  • By electronically storing and extracting data from documents, AlgoDocs reduces storage costs and saves time and money compared to manual data entry.
  • AlgoDocs helps catch writing errors during document processing, minimizing mistakes that may occur with manual data extraction.

Final Thoughts

It’s important for every business to extract data from PDFs online to thrive in today’s fast-paced world. AlgoDocs offers a seamless solution to this challenge by leveraging advanced AI and OCR technologies.

With AlgoDocs, you can streamline your document processing workflow, saving time and resources while ensuring accuracy and compliance.

As we move forward into 2025, embracing PDF data extraction tools like AlgoDocs can revolutionize your operations and unlock new possibilities for success. Don’t wait any longer—explore the power of AlgoDocs PDF Extract today!

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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What is the best way to extract data from a PDF?

For quick and seamless data extraction, the best way is to use AI-powered OCR technology software. An example would be AlgoDocs.

What is the free tool to extract PDF files?

You may find many free tools on the internet to extract data from PDFs, but one of the best free tools is AlgoDocs, which provides highly accurate results, using its advanced AI-powered OCR engine that can even extract data from low-quality files.

Can AI read scanned documents?

AI can ‘detect’ text in PDFs and images of scanned documents in many languages. In addition, with the recent boost in AI, especially in 2023–2024, the tools are advancing rapidly with new features.

Here are some resources to explore further:

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