Read text from PDF files in C# and VB.NET

GemBox.Pdf provides a very fast reading of PDF files from your C# or VB.NET application. It can read a 1,000 page PDF file full of text (almost 500,000 words) in just three seconds.

The text extraction is fairly straightforward to carry out. Using a simple API and just a few lines of code, you can quickly retrieve the entire text content from a PDF file as a single String, ready for your further processing.

The following example demonstrates how you can easily read the text content of each page in your PDF document.

Screenshot of read text from input PDF
Reading PDF file's text in C# and VB.NET
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using System;
using GemBox.Pdf;

class Program
{
    static void Main()
    {
        // If using Professional version, put your serial key below.
        ComponentInfo.SetLicense("FREE-LIMITED-KEY");

        // Iterate through PDF pages and extract each page's Unicode text content.
        using (var document = PdfDocument.Load("%InputFileName%"))
            foreach (var page in document.Pages)
                Console.WriteLine(page.Content.ToString());
    }
}
Imports System
Imports GemBox.Pdf

Module Program

    Sub Main()

        ' If using Professional version, put your serial key below.
        ComponentInfo.SetLicense("FREE-LIMITED-KEY")

        ' Iterate through PDF pages and extract each page's Unicode text content.
        Using document = PdfDocument.Load("%InputFileName%")
            For Each page In document.Pages
                Console.WriteLine(page.Content.ToString())
            Next
        End Using
    End Sub
End Module

Reading additional information about a text

GemBox.Pdf simplifies PDF page content operations by representing the content as a sequence of parsed, or compiled, elements, such as text, path, and external objects (images and forms). For more information see the Content Streams and Resources help page.

The PdfTextContent elements can be used to extract additional information about a text such as its location, font, and color as shown in the next example.

Screenshot of read text elements from input PDF
Retrieving PDF text elements in C# and VB.NET
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using System;
using System.Linq;
using GemBox.Pdf;
using GemBox.Pdf.Content;

class Program
{
    static void Main(string[] args)
    {
        // If using Professional version, put your serial key below.
        ComponentInfo.SetLicense("FREE-LIMITED-KEY");

        // Iterate through all PDF pages and through each page's content elements,
        // and retrieve only the text content elements.
        using (var document = PdfDocument.Load("%InputFileName%"))
            foreach (var textElement in document.Pages
                .SelectMany(page => page.Content.Elements.All())
                .Where(element => element.ElementType == PdfContentElementType.Text)
                .Cast<PdfTextContent>())
            {
                var text = textElement.ToString();
                var font = textElement.Format.Text.Font;
                var color = textElement.Format.Fill.Color;
                var location = textElement.Location;

                // Read the text content element's additional information.
                Console.WriteLine($"Unicode text: {text}");
                Console.WriteLine($"Font name: {font.Face.Family.Name}");
                Console.WriteLine($"Font size: {font.Size}");
                Console.WriteLine($"Font style: {font.Face.Style}");
                Console.WriteLine($"Font weight: {font.Face.Weight}");

                if (color.TryGetRgb(out double red, out double green, out double blue))
                    Console.WriteLine($"Color: Red={red}, Green={green}, Blue={blue}");

                Console.WriteLine($"Location: X={location.X:0.00}, Y={location.Y:0.00}");
                Console.WriteLine();
            }
    }
}
Imports System
Imports System.Linq
Imports GemBox.Pdf
Imports GemBox.Pdf.Content

Module Program

    Sub Main()

        ' If using Professional version, put your serial key below.
        ComponentInfo.SetLicense("FREE-LIMITED-KEY")

        ' Iterate through all PDF pages and through each page's content elements,
        ' and retrieve only the text content elements.
        Using document = PdfDocument.Load("%InputFileName%")
            For Each textElement In document.Pages _
                .SelectMany(Function(page) page.Content.Elements.All()) _
                .Where(Function(element) element.ElementType = PdfContentElementType.Text) _
                .Cast(Of PdfTextContent)()

                Dim text = textElement.ToString()
                Dim font = textElement.Format.Text.Font
                Dim color = textElement.Format.Fill.Color
                Dim location = textElement.Location

                ' Read the text content element's additional information.
                Console.WriteLine($"Unicode text: {text}")
                Console.WriteLine($"Font name: {font.Face.Family.Name}")
                Console.WriteLine($"Font size: {font.Size}")
                Console.WriteLine($"Font style: {font.Face.Style}")
                Console.WriteLine($"Font weight: {font.Face.Weight}")

                Dim red, green, blue As Double
                If color.TryGetRgb(red, green, blue) Then Console.WriteLine($"Color: Red={red}, Green={green}, Blue={blue}")

                Console.WriteLine($"Location: X={location.X:0.00}, Y={location.Y:0.00}")
                Console.WriteLine()
            Next
        End Using
    End Sub
End Module

Reading text from a specific rectangular area

With GemBox.Pdf, you can extract a PDF document's text from a specific rectangular area. To do this, you define the coordinates of the targeted area and retrieve only the PdfTextContent elements that are within it, as shown in the next example.

Screenshot of read text elements in specified area from input PDF
Reading PDF text from specified area in C# and VB.NET
Upload your file (Drag file here)
using System;
using System.Drawing;
using System.Linq;
using GemBox.Pdf;
using GemBox.Pdf.Content;

class Program
{
    static void Main(string[] args)
    {
        // If using Professional version, put your serial key below.
        ComponentInfo.SetLicense("FREE-LIMITED-KEY");

        var pageIndex = 0;
        var area = new Rectangle(400, 690, 150, 30);

        using (var document = PdfDocument.Load("%InputFileName%"))
        {
            // Retrieve first page object.
            var page = document.Pages[pageIndex];

            // Retrieve text content elements that are inside specified area on the first page.
            foreach (var textElement in page.Content.Elements.All()
                .Where(element => element.ElementType == PdfContentElementType.Text)
                .Cast<PdfTextContent>())
            {
                var location = textElement.Location;
                if (location.X > area.X && location.X < area.X + area.Width &&
                    location.Y > area.Y && location.Y < area.Y + area.Height)
                    Console.Write(textElement.ToString());
            }
        }
    }
}
Imports System
Imports System.Drawing
Imports System.Linq
Imports GemBox.Pdf
Imports GemBox.Pdf.Content

Module Program

    Sub Main()

        ' If using Professional version, put your serial key below.
        ComponentInfo.SetLicense("FREE-LIMITED-KEY")

        Dim pageIndex = 0
        Dim area = New Rectangle(400, 690, 150, 30)

        Using document = PdfDocument.Load("%InputFileName%")

            ' Retrieve first page object.
            Dim page = document.Pages(pageIndex)

            ' Retrieve text content elements that are inside specified area on the first page.
            For Each textElement In page.Content.Elements.All() _
                .Where(Function(element) element.ElementType = PdfContentElementType.Text) _
                .Cast(Of PdfTextContent)()

                Dim location = textElement.Location
                If location.X > area.X AndAlso location.X < area.X + area.Width AndAlso
                   location.Y > area.Y AndAlso location.Y < area.Y + area.Height Then
                    Console.Write(textElement.ToString())
                End If
            Next
        End Using
    End Sub
End Module

Check next example or download examples from GitHub.