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How can I import a table from a scanned image (jpg/pdf) file to a spreadsheet?

Example scan is here

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3 Answers

I wouldn't even bother trying to do this - it would be quicker to recreate the table in Word, Excel or Publisher, or a similar open-source package. I think you would need specialist software to recover the original table from the image, and in my experience the results are always not good enough, so you spend as much time tweaking as you would have recreating the whole thing from scratch.

Of course this does depend on what software you have access to, and your skills. Sorry if this seems unhelpful, but I would just bite the bullet.

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It's the kind of thing you try once and then decide 'never again'.. Mind you, I'm sure the software will improve and if you have a decent OCR program I'd give it a go anyway. –  pelms Apr 26 '10 at 8:46
    
It is possible to extract a table from a PDF file, and there are posts here linking to free software that will do that. However,there are two problems: 1. you would need to rescan the document and save it as a PDF file rather than an image file; 2. all the commenters on the conversion software make the same sort of remarks about 'sort of works' and the necessity for tweaking. It's Catch-22: the conversion works best on simple tables, and simple tables are quicker to recreate. –  raw_noob Apr 26 '10 at 9:03
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There is good software to do this:

Able2Abstract, PDF2XL

Both work

  • on yet recognised pages, so putting the text "right" in the table.
  • on not recognised or picture.

Last Able2abstract ajusts tables of scanned pages right even when pages border are different.

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Both are paid software. Googling "Able2Abstract" was unproductive; if you have a link, it would be helpful. –  Isaac Rabinovitch Nov 18 '12 at 17:26
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Captricity Specializes in converting forms and tables to a .csv spreadsheet. Visit their OCR Software page.

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