There are lots of PDF-related bales for Python. One of my favorites is PyPDF2. You can use it to abstract metadata, circle pages, breach or absorb PDFs, and more. It’s affectionate of a Swiss-army knife for absolute PDFs. In this article, we will apprentice how to abstract basal advice about a PDF application PyPDF2.
PyPDF2 doesn’t appear as a allotment of the Python Standard Library, so you will charge to install it yourself. The adopted way to do so is to use pip.
Now that we accept PyPDF2 installed, let’s apprentice how to get metadata from a PDF!
You can use PyPDF2 to abstract a fair bulk of advantageous abstracts from any PDF. For example, you can apprentice the columnist of the document, its appellation and subject, and how abounding pages there are. Let’s acquisition out how by downloading the sample of this book from Leanpub at https://leanpub.com/reportlab. The sample I downloaded was alleged “reportlab-sample.pdf”.
Here’s the code:
Here we acceptation the PdfFileReader class from PyPDF2. This chic gives us the adeptness to apprehend a PDF and abstract abstracts from it application assorted accessor methods. The aboriginal affair we do is actualize our own get_info function that accepts a PDF book aisle as its alone argument. Then we accessible the book in read-only bifold mode. Next, we canyon that book abettor into PdfFileReader and actualize an instance of it.
Now we can abstract some advice from the PDF by application the getDocumentInfo method. This will acknowledgment an instance of PyPDF2.pdf.DocumentInformation, which has the afterward advantageous attributes, amid others:
If you book out the DocumentInformation object, this is what you will see:
We can additionally get the cardinal of pages in the PDF by calling the getNumPages method.
PyPDF2 has bound abutment for extracting argument from PDFs. It doesn’t accept congenital abutment for extracting images, unfortunately. I accept apparent some recipes on Stack Overflow that use PyPDF2 to abstract images, but the cipher examples assume to be appealing hit or miss.
Let’s try to abstract the argument from the aboriginal folio of the PDF that we downloaded in the antecedent section:
You will agenda that this cipher starts out in abundant the aforementioned way as our antecedent example. We still charge to actualize an instance of PdfFileReader. But, this time, we grab a folio application the getPage method. PyPDF2 is zero-based, abundant like best things in Python, so back you canyon it a one, it absolutely grabs the additional page. The aboriginal page, in this case, is aloof an image, so it wouldn’t accept any text.
Interestingly, if you run this archetype you will acquisition that it doesn’t acknowledgment any text. Instead, all I got was a alternation of band breach characters. Unfortunately, PyPDF2 has appealing bound abutment for extracting text. Even if it is able to abstract text, it may not be in the adjustment you apprehend and the agreement may be altered as well.
To get this archetype cipher to work, you will charge to try active it adjoin a altered PDF. I begin one on the United States Internal Revenue Service website here: https://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/fw9.pdf
This is a W9 anatomy for bodies who are self-employed or arrangement employees. It can be acclimated in added situations too. Anyway, I downloaded it as w9.pdf and added it to the GitHub athenaeum as well. If you use that PDF instead of the sample one, it will appropriately abstract some of the argument from folio 2. I won’t carbon the achievement actuality as it is affectionate of diffuse though.
You may acquisition that the pdfminer amalgamation works bigger for extracting argument than PyPDF2 though.
The PyPDF2 amalgamation is absolutely useful. We were able to get some accessible advice from PDFs application it. I could see application PyPDF on a binder of PDFs and application the metadata abstraction address to array out the PDFs by architect name, subject, etc. Give it a try and see what you think!
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