python – convert documents (doc, docx, odt, pdf) to plain text without Libreoffice

I recently needed to convert some resumes to plain text. There are any number of use cases for wanting to extract readable text from binary formats. So here is a code snippet to do just that. I’m using some non python Linux programs and python libs. Notably absent is Libreoffice which would take care of a ton of formats. Libreoffice is however heavyweight and clunky to use. These programs will convert much faster. First let’s get some dependencies.

Notice – New versions of python-docx removed this function. Make sure to pip install docx and not the new python-docx.

By David

I am a supporter of free software and run Burke Software and Consulting LLC. I am always looking for contract work especially for non-profits and open source projects. Open Source Contributions I maintain a number of Django related projects including GlitchTip, Passit, and django-report-builder. You can view my work on gitlab. Academic papers Incorporating Gaming in Software Engineering Projects: Case of RMU Monopoly in the Journal of Systemics, Cybernetics and Informatics (2008)

2 comments

  1. I just wanted to say thank you for this example. It is the only pdf to text function I could fine online using the pdfminer library that works! Many thanks! If you are ever in Chicago and you drink, email me, I will meet you and buy as many drinks as you like!

    Like

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