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From Peter Murray-Rust <pm...@cam.ac.uk>
Subject Re: Looking for some guidance on using PDFBox to analyze page content
Date Fri, 20 Mar 2015 15:08:02 GMT
We do a great deal of this and have created two downstream packages which
consume the output of PDFBox:

* https://bitbucket.org/petermr/pdf2svg/ (which translates the PDF into SVG)
* https://bitbucket.org/petermr/svg2xml (which tries to convert the SVG
into high-level constructs)

There are roughly 3 outputs from PDFBox that relate to the viewable page
(we deliberately ignore all metadata, dictionaries, etc as it is likely to
be inconsistent)
* characters either through codepoints (often not  Unicode, unfortunately)
or though pixel-based glyphs
* bitmaps (raster) as Eliot mentions
* graphics paths (move, line, quadratic and cubic bezier).

It is possible for all of these to occur in the same area. However in many
instances the "text" and the "graphics" are separated by whitespace. (We
cannot rely on the order of primitives). We can then use whitespace
heuristics to separate this into "text" , "graphics" and "pixel images".
(Note, however, that text could contain small pixel images for characters,
amd also small paths for underlines, etc.).

Assuming that you have "clean" graphics - such as plots - it is possible
with a great deal of work to extract a reasonable guess at the original
primitives. (For example there is no "circle" or "rectangle" in PDF, only

It depends on what your material is, how it was produced, what the
primitives are, etc. You are very welcome to try our software which is all
Apache2 licensed.

On Fri, Mar 20, 2015 at 1:43 PM, Warren Gallagher <
warren.gallagher@apxconsult.com> wrote:

> Greetings,
> Is there a means to determine if a page contains:
>         * vector graphics
>         * raster graphics (and what format)
> Regards,
> warren.gallagher@apxconsult.com
> M: 613-791-4987 W: 613-262-2601 Advance Property eXposure Canada Inc.
> 1755 Woodward Drive, Suite 101, Ottawa, Ontario K2C 0P9 APXConsult.com
> [1]
> Links:
> ------
> [1] http://apxconsult.com

Peter Murray-Rust
Reader in Molecular Informatics
Unilever Centre, Dep. Of Chemistry
University of Cambridge

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