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π Utilities to split PDF files into smaller files, generate thumbnails and extract textual content.
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π Pietro

Utilities to split PDF files into smaller files, generate thumbnails and extract textual content.

This module is a wrapper on top of pdftk, Apache Tika and other tools to transform a raw PDF into a format that could be parsed by a machine.

⚠ This package has been created out of a personal need of sharing those methods across projects. The default (or sometimes hardcoded) values of some of the methods make sense to me. If they do not fit your needs, feel free to open issues or pull requests to adapt the code, I'd be happy to make it more extensible.

const pdf = await pietro.init('./path/to/file.pdf');

// Split a large file into smaller files
await pdf.extactAllPages('./dist');

// Convert one page to PNG
const page42 = pietro.init('./dist/0042.pdf');
await page42.toImage('./images/0042.pdf');

// Get textual content of one page
await page42.getText();


The module internally calls command-line tools to do the grunt work. You need the following commands to be available in your $PATH:

  • convert (from ImageMagick)
  • pdfinfo (from Xpdf)
  • pdftk (from PDFToolkit)
  • grep and sed (but you most probably already have them)

You'll also need java available, and the environment variable TIKA_JAR set to the path to the Apache Tika .jar file (that you can download from here)



Create a Pietro instance of a given PDF file.

const pdf = await pietro.init('./path/to/file.pdf');


Get the number of pages in the PDF.

const count = await pdf.pageCount();`The file has ${count} pages`);


Return textual content from the PDF

const content = await pdf.getText();

.extractPage(pageIndex, destination)

Extract one specific page of the PDF.

await pdf.extractPage(42, './page-42.pdf');


Split the PDF into one file per page, in the specified directory.

await pdf.extractAllPages('./pages');
// Will create ./pages/0001.pdf, ./pages/0002.pdf, etc


Convert the PDF to an image. This is better applied on one-page PDFs.

await pdf.toImage('./thumbnail.png');
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