How to Convert PDF to XML with 4 Free Methods

Summary :

This article explores three distinct methods to convert PDF to XML file using PDFgear, Adobe Acrobat Pro, and PDFTables. 

Table of Contents

How to Convert PDF to XML

How to Convert PDF to XML

PDF and XML are two mainstream data formats. PDF is used to save files that cannot be modified but can be easily shared and printed. XML, as a standardized data format that can be easily read by and shared between software applications and across systems or platforms, both locally and over the internet.

Data from PDF cannot be shared across applications and platforms, we need to convert it to XML before sharing to ensure compatibility. We are going to introduce three conversion methods. You may also want to learn how to convert XML to PDF.

Batch Convert PDF to XML for Free

To convert PDF to XML, you’ll need a dedicated PDF converter, and if you don’t intend to spend money for Adobe Acrobat subscription, the best option is PDFgear.

PDFgear is the best free PDF to XML converter that allows you to batch convert PDF or Word documents into XML files without losing formatting.

Since PDFgear is free, get PDFgear now and get started!

Free PDF Converter Software

PDFgear allows you to losslessly convert PDF to editable XML with original formatting.

Step 1. Download and install PDFgear, and launch it on your device.

Step 2. Go to the Convert from PDF toolbox, and select the PDF to XML Files tool.

Click PDF to XML Files

Click PDF to XML Files

Step 3. Click Add Files to add one or more PDF documents, and click Convert the start the conversion.

Convert PDF to XML

Convert PDF to XML

Step 4. You’ll be led to the output file folder when the conversion is done. Check your converted XML file!

Check Converted XML

Check Converted XML

Convert PDF to XML with Specific Structure

This section introduces converting PDF to XML with a specific structure. Firstly convert PDF to TXT with PDFgear, then manually create an XML file with a specific structure, and finally copy the content to the structure.

All you need is a free PDF converter called PDFgear. This versatile tool allows you to do many things, such as converting scanned PDF to Excel, and converting PDF to Word.

Free PDF Converter Software

PDFgear allows you to losslessly convert PDF to editable documents like TXT to create XML with original formatting.

Step 1: Download and install PDFgear. Launch PDFgear when it’s installed.

Launch PDFgear

Launch PDFgear

Step 2: Click Convert from PDF and then select PDF to Text Files.

Convert TXT to PDF

Convert TXT to PDF

Step 3: click Add File to select the PDF document. On the Open dialog, select a PDF file and click Open.

Open PDF with PDFgear

Open PDF with PDFgear

Step 4: Click Convert to convert the PDF to a text file. PDFgear will extract the text content from the PDF document and save it as a plain text file.

Step 5: Right-click the txt file and select Open the TXT file using Notepad. View and check the text content before proceeding with the XML conversion.

Open with Notepad

Open with Notepad

Create the XML File

Step 1: Create a new file with the extension “.xml” (e.g., “output.xml”). Open this file using the text editor.

Step 2: Add an XML declaration at the beginning of the output.xml file. The declaration should look like this:

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?>

Step 3: When determining the XML structure, consider the organization of your data and how you want it represented in XML format. For instance, if your TXT file contains a list of items, you might opt for a structure with a root element named “items” and child elements labelled “item.” This approach allows for clear categorization and easy navigation within the XML document, enhancing readability and usability.

Step 4: Add the root element to the output.xml file:

<items>

</items>

Step5: To seamlessly integrate the content from your TXT file into the XML structure, follow these steps: select and copy the relevant data from the TXT file into the XML structure you’ve created; create a new XML element to accommodate each line or piece of data; paste the data within the designated XML element and position it between the opening and closing tags. For example:

<items>

<item>Item 1</item>

<item>Item 2</item>

<item>Item 3</item>

</items>

Step 6: After all relevant contents from txt are pasted to the structured file, Click File->Save to save it.

Convert PDF to XML with Adobe Acrobat Pro

if you don’t need a specific XML structure, converting PDF to XML in Adobe Acrobat Pro is an efficient way. You can either convert the entire document or specific text.

Step 1: Launch Acrobat Pro and click Open to open the PDF file. Alternatively, right click the scanned file and select “Open with Adobe Acrobat Pro”.

Open in Adobe

Open in Adobe

Step 2: Click Tools and then Export PDF to export PDF to XML format.

Export PDF to XML

Export PDF to XML

Step 3: On the Export your PDF to any format dialog, select XML 1.0. You can also customize the export settings by clicking on the settings icon.

Convert to XML

Convert to XML

Step 4: On the Save as Dialog, select a Recent Folder or Click Choose a Different Location. Click Save.

Save XML

Save XML

Export Selected Text (Optional):

Alternatively, if you only want to convert specific text snippets from the PDF file to XML, you can select the text, right-click on the selection, and choose the “Export Selection As” option. This allows you to directly export the selected text to an XML file.

Convert PDF to XML Online

Although Acrobat is efficient, it requires installation and subscription before you can use it. For users seeking hassle-free method to convert PDF to XML without the need to install applications, PDFTables offers a convenient solution. This conversion method is accessible to users across various devices and platforms. Follow the detailed instructions to find out how to convert PDF to XML online.

Step 1: Use a web browser to go to PDFTables website.

Go to Converter Website

Go to Converter Website

Step 2: Click Convert a PDF to locate the PDF file you want to convert. Click Open.

Open PDF

Open PDF

Step 3: The processed content is shown on the webpage. Click Download as Excel and from the drop-down menu, select XML.

Download as Excel

Download as Excel

Step 4: The XML file is created and saved to your default Downloads folder.

FAQs

What is XML?

XML (eXtensible Markup Language) is a markup language that defines a set of rules for encoding documents in a format that is both human-readable and machine-readable. It is commonly used for data exchange and storage.

Why convert a PDF to XML?

Converting a PDF to XML can be useful when you need to extract and use the data contained in a PDF file programmatically. XML files are easier to read, edit, and manipulate programmatically compared to PDFs, which are primarily designed for presentation rather than data interchange.

Can all PDFs be converted to XML?

Not all PDFs are created equal. Text-based PDFs can be converted to XML relatively easily because the text can be extracted and structured in XML format. However, PDFs that are essentially images (like scanned documents) may require optical character recognition (OCR) to convert the image-based text to actual text before it can be converted to XML.

Is the conversion from PDF to XML lossless?

The conversion process may not be entirely lossless, especially if the PDF contains complex formatting, images, or annotations. While the text can be extracted, the exact visual layout and graphics are often difficult to replicate in XML because XML is focused on data structure rather than presentation.

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