For a limited period of time I am making publicly available a Web-based program called PDF2TXT -- http://bit.ly/1bJRyh8
PDF2TXT extracts the text from an OCRed PDF document and then does some rudimentary "distant reading" against the text in the form of word clouds, readability scores, concordance features, and "maps" (histograms) illustrating where terms appear in a text.
Here is the idea behind the application:
1. In the Libraries I see people scanning, scanning, and
scanning. I suppose these people then go home and read the
document. They might even print it. These documents are long.
Moreover, I'll bet they have multiple documents.
2. Text mining requires digitized text, but PDF documents are
frequently full of formatting. At the same time, they often
have the text underneath. Our scanning software does OCR.
3. By extracting the text from PDF documents, I can facilitate
a different -- additional -- type of analysis against sets of
one or more documents. PDF2TXT is the first step in this
What is really cool is that PDF2TXT works for many of the articles downloadable from the Libraries's article indexes. Search an article index. Download a full text, PDF version of the article. Feed it to PDF2TXT. Get more out of your article.
PDF2TXT currently has "creeping featuritis" -- meaning that it is growing in weird directions. Your feedback is more than welcome. (I know. The output is ugly.) Also, please be gentle with it because it does not process things the size of the Bible.
Eric Lease Morgan
Digital Initiatives Librarian
University of Notre Dame
Room 131, Hesburgh Libraries
Notre Dame, IN 46556
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