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Python parser to extract data from pdf invoice

Project description

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This project has been selected for GSoC 2018. Read more here.

A modular Python library to support your accounting process. Tested on Python 2.7 and 3.4+. Main steps:

  1. extracts text from PDF files using different techniques, like pdftotext, pdfminer or OCR – tesseract, tesseract4 or gvision (Google Cloud Vision).
  2. searches for regex in the result using a YAML-based template system
  3. saves results as CSV, JSON or XML or renames PDF files to match the content.

With the flexible template system you can:

  • precisely match content PDF files
  • plugins available to match line items and tables
  • define static fields that are the same for every invoice
  • define custom fields needed in your organisation or process
  • have multiple regex per field (if layout or wording changes)
  • define currency
  • extract invoice-items using the lines-plugin developed by Holger Brunn

Go from PDF files to this:

{'date': (2014, 5, 7), 'invoice_number': '30064443', 'amount': 34.73, 'desc': 'Invoice 30064443 from QualityHosting', 'lines': [{'price': 42.0, 'desc': u'Small Business StandardExchange 2010\nGrundgeb\xfchr pro Einheit\nDienst: OUDJQ_office\n01.05.14-31.05.14\n', 'pos': u'7', 'qty': 1.0}]}
{'date': (2014, 6, 4), 'invoice_number': 'EUVINS1-OF5-DE-120725895', 'amount': 35.24, 'desc': 'Invoice EUVINS1-OF5-DE-120725895 from Amazon EU'}
{'date': (2014, 8, 3), 'invoice_number': '42183017', 'amount': 4.11, 'desc': 'Invoice 42183017 from Amazon Web Services'}
{'date': (2015, 1, 28), 'invoice_number': '12429647', 'amount': 101.0, 'desc': 'Invoice 12429647 from Envato'}


  1. Install pdftotext

If possible get the latest xpdf/poppler-utils version. It’s included with macOS Homebrew, Debian and Ubuntu. Without it, pdftotext won’t parse tables in PDF correctly.

  1. Install invoice2data using pip
pip install invoice2data


Basic usage. Process PDF files and write result to CSV.

  • invoice2data invoice.pdf
  • invoice2data *.pdf

Choose any of the following input readers:

  • pdftotext invoice2data --input-reader pdftotext invoice.pdf
  • tesseract invoice2data --input-reader tesseract invoice.pdf
  • pdf miner invoice2data --input-reader pdfminer invoice.pdf
  • tesseract4 invoice2data --input-reader tesseract4 invoice.pdf
  • gvision invoice2data --input-reader gvision invoice.pdf (needs GOOGLE_APPLICATION_CREDENTIALS env var)

Choose any of the following output formats:

  • csv invoice2data --output-format csv invoice.pdf
  • json invoice2data --output-format json invoice.pdf
  • xml invoice2data --output-format xml invoice.pdf

Save output file with custom name or a specific folder invoice2data --output-format csv --output-name myinvoices/invoices.csv invoice.pdf

Note: You must specify the output-format in order to create output-name

Specify folder with yml templates. (e.g. your suppliers) invoice2data --template-folder ACME-templates invoice.pdf

Only use your own templates and exclude built-ins invoice2data --exclude-built-in-templates --template-folder ACME-templates invoice.pdf

Processes a folder of invoices and copies renamed invoices to new folder. invoice2data --copy new_folder folder_with_invoices/*.pdf

Processes a single file and dumps whole file for debugging (useful when adding new templates in invoice2data --debug my_invoice.pdf

Recognize test invoices: invoice2data invoice2data/test/pdfs/* --debug

If you want to use it as a lib just do

from invoice2data import extract_data

result = extract_data('path/to/my/file.pdf')

If you want to use your own templates, you may do

from invoice2data import extract_data
from invoice2data.extract.loader import read_templates

templates = read_templates('/path/to/your/templates/')
result = extract_data(filename, templates=templates)

Template system

See invoice2data/extract/templates for existing templates. Just extend the list to add your own. If deployed by a bigger organisation, there should be an interface to edit templates for new suppliers. 80-20 rule. For a short tutorial on how to add new templates, see TUTORIAL.rst.

Templates are based on Yaml. They define one or more keywords to find the right template and regexp for fields to be extracted. They could also be a static value, like the full company name.

Template files are tried in alphabetical order.

We may extend them to feature options to be used during invoice processing.


issuer: Amazon Web Services, Inc.
- Amazon Web Services
  amount: TOTAL AMOUNT DUE ON.*\$(\d+\.\d+)
  amount_untaxed: TOTAL AMOUNT DUE ON.*\$(\d+\.\d+)
  date: Invoice Date:\s+([a-zA-Z]+ \d+ , \d+)
  invoice_number: Invoice Number:\s+(\d+)
  partner_name: (Amazon Web Services, Inc\.)
  remove_whitespace: false
  currency: HKD
    - '%d/%m/%Y'
    start: Detail
    end: \* May include estimated US sales tax
    first_line: ^    (?P<description>\w+.*)\$(?P<price_unit>\d+\.\d+)
    line: (.*)\$(\d+\.\d+)
    last_line: VAT \*\*


If you are interested in improving this project, have a look at our developer guide to get you started quickly.

Roadmap and open tasks

  • integrate with online OCR?
  • try to ‘guess’ parameters for new invoice formats.
  • can apply machine learning to guess new parameters?


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