Extracting tables from PDFs is not fun. But @TabulaPDF have made it possible. So we are going to learn how to extract tables at Jenny’s liberation-fest tomorrow. Here’s how:
Got to http:// http://tabula.nerdpower.org/
(That’s right: NERD POWER. Nerds are good. Nerds are clever). We find:
Tabula is a tool for liberating data tables trapped inside PDF files.
If you’ve ever tried to do anything with data provided to you in PDFs, you know how painful this is — you can’t easily copy-and-paste rows of data out of PDF files. Tabula allows you to extract that data in CSV format, through a simple interface. And now you can download Tabula and run it on your own computer, like you would with OpenRefine.
Download and install Tabula
Note: You’ll need a copy of Java installed. You can download Java here.
1. Download the version of Tabula for your operating system:
Mac OS X:
- OS X 10.8+ users: if you have issues opening the app, see note at bottom of download page
tabula-jar.zip (view README.txt inside for instructions)
2. Extract the zip file using the file extractor of your choice (such as 7-zip).
3. Go into the folder you just extracted. Run the “Tabula” program inside.
4. In your web browser, go to http://localhost:8080/ . (This should automatically happen, actually.) There’s Tabula!
5. Upload a file of your choice. Select a section of a table, and go.
It works! Here’s a table (they are Gibbons!) [#animalgarden needs more monkeys…]
We use Tabula. Select the table and we get:
WOW! It’s actually in a CSV table
OK the spaces are occasionally elided, and the italics are gone, but we are working on that…
Tabula is better than #ami2 on tables (AMI relies on the English word “Table” and her tables are currently being refactored). Tabula is developing auto-detect. #ami2 is probably better on italics and spaces.
So we join forces. Everyone gains.