Extract plain text from pdf files.
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Extract plain text from pdf files.

This file contains extremely crude C source code to extract plain text from a PDF file. It is only intended to show some of the basics involved in the process and by no means good enough for commercial use. But it can be easily modified to suit your purpose. Code is by no means warranted to be bug free or suitable for any purpose.

Adobe has a web site that converts PDF files to text for free, so why would you need something like this? Several reasons:

1) This code is entirely free including for commericcial use. It only requires ZLIB (from www.zlib.org) which is entirely free as well.

2) This code tries to put tabs into appropriate places in the text, which means that if your PDF file contains mostly one large table, you can easily take the output of this program and directly read it into Excel! Otherwise if you select and copy the text and paste it into Excel there is no way to extract the various columns again.

This code assumes that the PDF file has text objects compressed using FlateDecode (which seems to be standard).

This code is free. Use it for any purpose. The author assumes no liability whatsoever for the use of this code. Use it at your own risk!

PDF file strings (based on PDFReference15_v5.pdf from www.adobve.com:

BT = Beginning of a text object, ET = end of a text object 5 Ts = superscript -5 Ts = subscript Td move to start next line

No precompiled headers, but uncomment if need be: Your project must also include zdll.lib (ZLIB) as a dependency. ZLIB can be freely downloaded from the internet, www.zlib.org Use 4 byte struct alignment in your project!

modified to work with POSIX(?) C by ziga.zupanec@gmail.com (agiz@github) requirements: zlib-devel