Docear’s PDF Inspector: Extracting titles from PDF files

Published by Joeran Beel on

A while ago we released Docear with automatic metadata extraction. Several users asked us if this functionality was also available as stand-alone tool. Therefore, we decided to create a little tool which we name “Docear’s PDF Inspector”. Docear’s PDF Inspector extracts titles from PDF files not from the PDF’s metadata but from its full-text. More precisely, Docear’s PDF Inspector extracts the full-text of the first page of a PDF and looks for the largest text in the upper third of that page. This text is returned as title. Of course, this does not always deliver the correct title (e.g. sometimes the journal name is formatted in a larger font size than an article’s title) but in about 70% you will get the correct one.  The main features of Docear’s PDF Inspector are

  • Extracts titles from PDF files with good accuracy (~70%) and excellent run-time (few milliseconds per PDF in batch mode)
  • Usable as library (other tools can easily integrate Docear’s PDF Extractor to extract titles from PDFs.
  • Usable as stand-alone command-line application (returns a PDFs’ title on the command line)
  • Usable in batch mode (stores the extracted titles into a CSV file)
  • Reads all PDF versions (other tools such as SciPlore Xtract or ParsCit are using PDFBox for processing the PDFs. However, PDFBox sometimes has problems extracting text from PDFs not being 100% compliant to the PDF standard – Docear’s PDF Inspector is more tolerant)
  • Written entirely in JAVA 1.6. Hence, Docear’s PDF Inspector runs on any major operating system, including Windows, Linux, and Mac OS, without any other tools required (besides the JAVA run time environment, of course)
  • Completely independent of further tools – you only need Docear’s PDF Inspector, that’s it (e.g. SciPlore Xtract requires pdftohtml to be installed)
  • Released under the GNU General Public License (GPL) 2 or later, which means it is completely free to use and its source code can be downloaded and modified by anyone.

Please note, as a normal Docear user you don’t have to download Docear’s PDF Inspector – it is already integrated into Docear. We only offer Docear’s PDF Inspector as separate download for third parties who would like to use it in their own applications. In addition, Docear’s PDF Inspector has not (yet) a look-up function that complements the extracted metadata with further information from Docear’s Web Service.

Downloads and more information on the Homepage of Docear’s PDF Inspector.


6 Comments

Kevin · 15th February 2013 at 04:07

This is an awesome feature! Can you also make the file node names in the mind maps rename based on the new titles?

Cheers,
-K

Ayo Alatishe · 22nd October 2013 at 16:05

Hi, This is a great tool! I m loving it!
The only problem is that it only works on searchable PDFs. It doesnt do OCR i guess.

    Joeran [Docear] · 22nd October 2013 at 16:52

    indeed, the tool does not OCR and we won’t be able to integrate such a function anytime soon 🙁

bkafle · 4th January 2014 at 16:37

Hi,with the recent Docear software in Windows 7, i am not able to use this function (i would love to use this. I tried to import metadata from pdfs from data fetched by Doccear’s digital library. Its neither extracting any title of the pdf, nor its metadata. Any suggestions ?

    Joeran [Docear] · 6th January 2014 at 13:36

    Could you please report this problem in our bug forum? and please explain in more detail what you are doing (which entries you are selecting in the menu) and what happens. please also report whether you are using Docear behind a proxy server or with a “normal” internet connection.

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