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pdftitle is a small utility to extract the title of a PDF article.

Project description

# pdftitle

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pdftitle is a small utility to extract the title of a PDF article.

When you have some PDF articles where you cannot understand their content from their filenames, you can use this utility to extract the title and rename the files if you want. This utility does not look at the metadata of a PDF file. The title in the metadata can be empty. It works for ~80% of the PDFs I have and it is especially suited for PDF files of scientific articles.

install with pip install pdftitle.

Using pdftitle -p <pdf-file>

returns the estimated title of the document. Much more info can be seen in verbose mode with -v.

Currently, it uses the following heuristic:

  1. Look into every text object in the first page of a PDF document
  2. If the font and font size is same in consequent text objects, group their content as one
  3. Find the groups with maximum text size
  4. If there are more than one group found, select the one the most close to top of the page
  5. Title is in this group

So the assumption is that the title of the document is the text having the largest font size in the first page and the one most close to the top of the page.

One problem is not all documents uses space character between the words, so it is difficult to find word boundaries if space is not used.

There are two options that you can specify on the command line:

–replace-missing-char: if a glyph (i.e. look of character a) cannot be mapped into the character symbol (i.e. character a), normally an exception is raised. If you want no exception but replace it with something, specific it here.

pdftitle uses pdfminer.six project to parse PDF document with its own implementation of the PDF device and PDF interpreter. The names of the variables and calculations in the source code is very similar to how they are given in the PDF spec (

# changes

  • changed version string to major.minor format.
  • pdftitle can be used as a library for a project, use get_title_from_io method
  • added chardet as a dependency
  • algorithm is changed but there are problems with finding the word boundaries

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