Unlock the Secrets of PDFs: Learn How to Extract All Text with Code Examples Using Pymupdf

Table of content

  1. Introduction
  2. Why Extracting Text from PDF Files is Important
  3. Understanding Pymupdf Library
  4. Installing Pymupdf Library
  5. Extracting Text from PDFs using Pymupdf
  6. Code Examples
  7. Conclusion
  8. Further Reading


PDFs are a ubiquitous document format used in many industries, including education, government, and business. While PDFs are useful for sharing complex documents without affecting the layout or formatting, extracting text from them can be a challenge. This is particularly true when dealing with large PDF files or multiple files.

Fortunately, with the help of Python libraries such as PyMuPDF, it is possible to extract all the text from PDFs quickly and efficiently. In this tutorial, we will explore how to extract all text from a PDF using PyMuPDF and Python code examples.

We will begin by discussing the basics of PyMuPDF library, including its installation and how to use it to extract text from a single PDF file. Then, we will delve into the more advanced topics, such as extracting text from multiple PDF files and how to work with different encodings. With this knowledge, you will be able to tackle any PDF extraction challenge you encounter in your work or personal projects.

So, let's dive into the world of PDF extraction with PyMuPDF and extract all the text we need!

Why Extracting Text from PDF Files is Important

PDF (Portable Document Format) files have become a popular file format for reading and sharing documents. They can be easily viewed on any device without losing formatting, making them useful for sharing professional documents such as resumes, contracts, and reports. However, extracting text from PDF files can be difficult without the right tools. Here’s :

  • Searchability: Searching for specific information within a PDF file can be time-consuming if you have to read through the entire document. By extracting the text, you can easily find the information you need using a search function.
  • Accessibility: Some PDF documents may not be accessible to people with disabilities who use assistive technology. By extracting the text, you can create a readable version that can be used with screen readers.
  • Content reusability: Extracting the text from a PDF file allows you to reuse the content for other purposes such as copying and pasting information into a new document, creating a summary or analysis of the text, or translating the text into another language.
  • Data analysis: Extracting text from PDF files can be a useful step in analyzing data contained within the document, such as customer feedback, survey responses or other types of data.

Python offers several libraries to extract text from PDF files, such as PyPDF2, PDFMiner, and PyMuPDF, with the last one being the most performant and feature-rich one available. With PyMuPDF, you can extract text with or without formatting, headers, and footers, in multiple languages, as well as images and tables.

Understanding Pymupdf Library

Pymupdf is a Python library for working with PDF files. It provides a range of features for working with PDFs, including text extraction, image extraction, document merging, and more. With Pymupdf, developers can automate many of the tasks that would normally require manual intervention, saving time and effort.

Here are some key features of Pymupdf:

  • Text Extraction: Pymupdf makes it easy to extract all the text from a PDF file. It can extract text from both regular PDFs and scanned PDFs. This feature is useful for tasks such as data mining, text analysis, and content extraction.

  • Image Extraction: With Pymupdf, developers can extract images from PDF files. This feature can be useful for tasks such as creating a thumbnail of a PDF or extracting product images from a PDF catalog.

  • Document Merging: Pymupdf can merge multiple PDF files into a single document. This feature is useful for tasks such as assembling reports or combining multiple documents into a single PDF.

  • Annotation Support: Pymupdf provides support for working with PDF annotations, including highlighting, underlining, and strikethroughs. This feature is useful for tasks such as reviewing and commenting on PDF documents.

Pymupdf is a powerful tool for working with PDF files in Python. With its wide range of features and easy-to-use API, it can save developers a lot of time and effort when working with PDF files.

Installing Pymupdf Library

Before we dive into extracting text from PDFs using Pymupdf, let's first make sure that we have the necessary library installed. Here's how to install Pymupdf on your machine:

  1. Open your terminal or command prompt.
  2. Type pip install pymupdf and press Enter.
  3. Wait for the installation process to complete.

That's it! Once you have Pymupdf installed, you can begin to use its functionalities for PDF processing.

Troubleshooting Pymupdf Installation

In some cases, you might encounter errors or issues during the installation of Pymupdf. Here are some steps you can take to troubleshoot those problems:

  • Check your Python version. Pymupdf requires Python 3.5 or later to run properly. If you have an older version of Python installed, try updating to Python 3.x before installing Pymupdf.
  • Ensure that you have Pymupdf's dependencies installed. Pymupdf relies on a number of other libraries, such as NumPy and Pillow. Make sure that you have these dependencies installed before installing Pymupdf.
  • Check your internet connection. If you're having trouble downloading Pymupdf from PyPI, make sure that you have a stable internet connection. Slow or intermittent connections can cause downloads to fail or time out.
  • Consult Pymupdf's documentation. If you're still having trouble installing Pymupdf, refer to the library's documentation for more information. The documentation may have troubleshooting tips or workarounds for common issues.

With these tips in mind, you should be able to install Pymupdf without issue and begin to explore its powerful PDF processing capabilities.

Extracting Text from PDFs using Pymupdf

Pymupdf is a Python library that can be used to extract text from PDF documents. This library is built on top of the MuPDF library, which provides high-quality rendering and interactive functionality for PDF files.

To extract text from a PDF document using Pymupdf, follow these steps:

  1. Install the library by running pip install pymupdf in your command prompt.
  2. Import the library by adding import fitz at the beginning of your Python script.
  3. Open the PDF file using the fitz.open method. This method returns a Document object that represents the PDF file.
  4. Loop through the pages of the document using the Document.pages property. This property returns a list of Page objects that represent each page in the PDF file.
  5. For each page, use the Page.get_text method to extract the text from that page.
  6. Append the text to a string or list to store the results.

Here's an example code snippet that demonstrates how to extract text from a PDF file using Pymupdf:

import fitz

# Open the PDF file
doc = fitz.open('example.pdf')

# Loop through the pages and extract the text
text = ''
for page in doc.pages:
    text += page.get_text()

# Print the extracted text

This code snippet opens a PDF file called example.pdf, loops through each page of the document, and extracts the text using the get_text method. The extracted text is then stored in the text variable, which can be printed or used for further processing.

In summary, Pymupdf provides a simple and efficient way to extract text from PDF documents using Python. With just a few lines of code, you can unlock the secrets of PDFs and extract all of their valuable content.

Code Examples

To extract text from a PDF using Pymupdf, you will need to write a few lines of code. Here are some for different scenarios:

Extracting all text from a single PDF

import fitz
doc = fitz.open("example.pdf")
for page in doc:
    text = page.getText()

This code will open a PDF file called "example.pdf" using Pymupdf's fitz module. It then iterates over each page in the document and extracts the text using the getText() method. Finally, it prints the extracted text to the console.

Extracting text from multiple PDFs

import fitz
import glob
pdfs = glob.glob("*.pdf")
for pdf in pdfs:
    doc = fitz.open(pdf)
    for page in doc:
        text = page.getText()

This code opens and extracts the text from all PDFs in the current directory using the glob module. It then iterates over each page in each document and extracts the text using the getText() method. The extracted text is printed to the console.

Extracting text with page numbers

import fitz
doc = fitz.open("example.pdf")
for i, page in enumerate(doc):
    text = page.getText()
    print("Page", i, ":", text)

This code extracts the text from each page in "example.pdf" and prints it to the console along with the page number. The enumerate() function is used to generate an index for each page, which is printed along with the text.

These are just a few examples of how you can use Pymupdf to extract text from PDFs using Python code. With a little bit of experimentation and customization, you can fine-tune these examples to suit your needs.


In this tutorial, we've learned how to extract all text from PDF files using Pymupdf. We started by installing the library and exploring its capabilities. Then we saw how to open a PDF file and extract its text content, along with some other useful information. We also discussed some potential challenges you might encounter when working with PDFs, such as OCR requirements and formatting issues.

By following the code examples provided here, you'll be able to extract text from any PDF document you encounter in your projects. Whether you're developing an application that needs to parse PDFs, or you simply want to learn more about the format, these techniques will prove invaluable. We hope this tutorial has been a helpful resource for you and wish you success in all your PDF-related endeavors!

Further Reading

To deepen your understanding of PDF extraction with Pymupdf, we recommend exploring the following resources:

  • Pymupdf official documentation: This comprehensive guide offers a step-by-step tutorial to extract text using Pymupdf. With detailed code examples, this reference is an excellent starting point for beginners.

  • Extracting text from PDF files with Python and PyMuPDF: In this blog post, PyMuPDF contributor Robin David shares best practices and tips for extracting text from PDF files with Python and PyMuPDF. The post also includes links to useful external resources.

  • PyMuPDF GitHub page: The official PyMuPDF GitHub page is a great resource for advanced users who want to explore the source code or contribute to the project. The page includes a detailed README file with installation instructions and usage examples.

  • Python for PDF Processing: Extract Text and Images: This Real Python tutorial covers a broad range of topics related to PDF processing with Python, including text extraction with Pymupdf. The tutorial also covers other PDF-related tasks, such as image extraction and PDF manipulation.

Cloud Computing and DevOps Engineering have always been my driving passions, energizing me with enthusiasm and a desire to stay at the forefront of technological innovation. I take great pleasure in innovating and devising workarounds for complex problems. Drawing on over 8 years of professional experience in the IT industry, with a focus on Cloud Computing and DevOps Engineering, I have a track record of success in designing and implementing complex infrastructure projects from diverse perspectives, and devising strategies that have significantly increased revenue. I am currently seeking a challenging position where I can leverage my competencies in a professional manner that maximizes productivity and exceeds expectations.
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