Skip to content


Switch branches/tags

Name already in use

A tag already exists with the provided branch name. Many Git commands accept both tag and branch names, so creating this branch may cause unexpected behavior. Are you sure you want to create this branch?


Failed to load latest commit information.
Latest commit message
Commit time
August 9, 2022 23:36
March 8, 2022 10:44
March 14, 2021 21:07

tabula-java Build Status

tabula-java is a library for extracting tables from PDF files — it is the table extraction engine that powers Tabula (repo). You can use tabula-java as a command-line tool to programmatically extract tables from PDFs.

© 2014-2020 Manuel Aristarán. Available under MIT License. See LICENSE.


Download a version of the tabula-java's jar, with all dependencies included, that works on Mac, Windows and Linux from our releases page.

Commandline Usage Examples

tabula-java provides a command line application:

$ java -jar target/tabula-1.0.5-jar-with-dependencies.jar --help
usage: tabula [-a <AREA>] [-b <DIRECTORY>] [-c <COLUMNS>] [-f <FORMAT>]
       [-g] [-h] [-i] [-l] [-n] [-o <OUTFILE>] [-p <PAGES>] [-r] [-s
       <PASSWORD>] [-t] [-u] [-v]

Tabula helps you extract tables from PDFs

 -a,--area <AREA>           -a/--area = Portion of the page to analyze.
                            Example: --area 269.875,12.75,790.5,561.
                            Accepts top,left,bottom,right i.e. y1,x1,y2,x2
                            where all values are in points relative to the
                            top left corner. If all values are between
                            0-100 (inclusive) and preceded by '%', input
                            will be taken as % of actual height or width
                            of the page. Example: --area %0,0,100,50. To
                            specify multiple areas, -a option should be
                            repeated. Default is entire page
 -b,--batch <DIRECTORY>     Convert all .pdfs in the provided directory.
 -c,--columns <COLUMNS>     X coordinates of column boundaries. Example
                            --columns 10.1,20.2,30.3. If all values are
                            between 0-100 (inclusive) and preceded by '%',
                            input will be taken as % of actual width of
                            the page. Example: --columns %25,50,80.6
 -f,--format <FORMAT>       Output format: (CSV,TSV,JSON). Default: CSV
 -g,--guess                 Guess the portion of the page to analyze per
 -h,--help                  Print this help text.
 -i,--silent                Suppress all stderr output.
 -l,--lattice               Force PDF to be extracted using lattice-mode
                            extraction (if there are ruling lines
                            separating each cell, as in a PDF of an Excel
 -n,--no-spreadsheet        [Deprecated in favor of -t/--stream] Force PDF
                            not to be extracted using spreadsheet-style
                            extraction (if there are no ruling lines
                            separating each cell)
 -o,--outfile <OUTFILE>     Write output to <file> instead of STDOUT.
                            Default: -
 -p,--pages <PAGES>         Comma separated list of ranges, or all.
                            Examples: --pages 1-3,5-7, --pages 3 or
                            --pages all. Default is --pages 1
 -r,--spreadsheet           [Deprecated in favor of -l/--lattice] Force
                            PDF to be extracted using spreadsheet-style
                            extraction (if there are ruling lines
                            separating each cell, as in a PDF of an Excel
 -s,--password <PASSWORD>   Password to decrypt document. Default is empty
 -t,--stream                Force PDF to be extracted using stream-mode
                            extraction (if there are no ruling lines
                            separating each cell)
 -u,--use-line-returns      Use embedded line returns in cells. (Only in
                            spreadsheet mode.)
 -v,--version               Print version and exit.

It also includes a debugging tool, run java -cp ./target/tabula-1.0.5-jar-with-dependencies.jar technology.tabula.debug.Debug -h for the available options.

You can also integrate tabula-java with any JVM language. For Java examples, see the tests folder.

JVM start-up time is a lot of the cost of the tabula command, so if you're trying to extract many tables from PDFs, you have a few options for speeding it up:

  • the -b option, which allows you to convert all pdfs in a given directory
  • the drip utility
  • the Ruby, Python, R, and Node.js bindings
  • writing your own program in any JVM language (Java, JRuby, Scala) that imports tabula-java.
  • waiting for us to implement an API/server-style system (it's on the roadmap)

API Usage Examples

A simple Java code example which extracts all rows and cells from all tables of all pages of a PDF document:

InputStream in = this.getClass().getResourceAsStream("my.pdf");
try (PDDocument document = PDDocument.load(in)) {
    SpreadsheetExtractionAlgorithm sea = new SpreadsheetExtractionAlgorithm();
    PageIterator pi = new ObjectExtractor(document).extract();
    while (pi.hasNext()) {
        // iterate over the pages of the document
        Page page =;
        List<Table> table = sea.extract(page);
        // iterate over the tables of the page
        for(Table tables: table) {
            List<List<RectangularTextContainer>> rows = tables.getRows();
            // iterate over the rows of the table
            for (List<RectangularTextContainer> cells : rows) {
                // print all column-cells of the row plus linefeed
                for (RectangularTextContainer content : cells) {
                    // Note: Cell.getText() uses \r to concat text chunks
                    String text = content.getText().replace("\r", " ");
                    System.out.print(text + "|");

For more detail information check the Javadoc. The Javadoc API documentation can be generated (see also 'Building from Source' section) via

mvn javadoc:javadoc

which generates the HTML files to directory target/site/apidocs/

Building from Source

Clone this repo and run:

mvn clean compile assembly:single


Interested in helping out? We'd love to have your help!

You can help by:

  • Reporting a bug.
  • Adding or editing documentation.
  • Contributing code via a Pull Request.
  • Spreading the word about tabula-java to people who might be able to benefit from using it.


You can also support our continued work on tabula-java with a one-time or monthly donation on OpenCollective. Organizations who use tabula-java can also sponsor the project for acknowledgement on our official site and this README.

Special thanks to the following users and organizations for generously supporting Tabula with donations and grants:

The John S. and James L. Knight Foundation The Shuttleworth Foundation