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Can I use templates to convert my PDF files in the batch mode?


In earlier versions of Able2Extract batch conversion does not allow using templates. It only converts PDF files automatically.

However, since the release of Able2Extract Professional 14.0 – which is our latest version – using templates in the batch mode is now available for conversions to Excel or CSV formats.

Automated Batch Conversion Using Master Templates
The Machine Learning engine added in Able2Extract Professional 14.0 allows the software to distinguish between different PDF documents, enabling you to upload specific Custom Excel templates for the document(s) to be converted. This means that Able2Extract will be able to apply and match your templates to the appropriate PDF documents when performing batch conversions.

However, please note that in order to batch convert PDF files using an existing template, you will first need to train the software to identify the table structures with Master Templates. Approximately 5-10 documents for each category of PDF should be a sufficient amount.

These are the steps to follow in order to train the software:

  1. Open Able2Extract Professional 14.0 and click on the Batch button on the toolbar.
  2. This will open a Batch Conversion dialog where you will be able to select PDF files for conversion. To do so, use the Add Files… or Add Directory... button. 
    Once selected, the files will appear in the main dialog box. If you have accidentally included (selected) a file that you do not wish to convert, you can click and highlight that file, and then click on the Remove selected button. On the other hand, if you wish to add additional files for conversion, you can click again on the Add files... button.


  3. Once you have added all desired files for batch conversion, go to the Convert to drop-down menu and choose Excel or CSV as the output format.
  4. Then select "Automatically Match Templates to Documents" button.
  5. Click on the Manage button to load your template file(s). In the Manage Groups dialog click on the Add… button. This will open a new dialog, so here click on the Browse… button to search for your template. Once you find the file, select it and click on the Open button. You will now be returned to the Add Group dialog, so here click on the Add button – the template should now appear in the Manage Group dialog box.
    To add additional templates, click again on the Add… button and repeat the procedure. On the other hand, if you wish to remove from the list the template file you have previously loaded, select that file and then click on the Remove button. 
    (Note: You should have separate template files for each group of files you want to batch convert.


  6. Now match each file to a specific template. To do so, click on the first drop-down menu – which is in the main dialog box, under the Group section – and from the drop-down list select the corresponding template. Follow the same procedure for the first, let’s say, 10 files. Then check "Remember Matching Results" check-box.
  7. Once you have done this, specify the output folder – i.e. the location of the converted files. By default, Able2Extract Professional 14.0 will save the converted results to the same folder as your source PDF. To change this, uncheck the Same as Source box. Then specify an output folder by clicking on the Browse... button.
  8. Re-enter the characters offered by the software into the empty field next to it, then click on the Convert button. The output files will appear in the designated Output folder.

When batch converting the next set of files, follow the first four steps from the above instruction: load the PDF files, select Excel or CSV as the output format and then choose "Automatically Match Templates to Documents". After that, click on the Preview button. Please note that the Preview option will not be functional the first time you train Able2Extract using this method. It is only effective after it has learned to identify and match the categories of PDFs to their corresponding templates. So, after clicking on the Preview, check if the application has automatically matched the right template with every PDF file. If not and for some PDF files there are empty drop-down menus (under the Group section), please select the right template manually. Then proceed with the conversion by selecting the output folder, retyping the captcha and clicking Convert.

Once trained, the next time you convert the same type of PDFs in the batch mode, Able2Extract will be able to recognize the category of every new document itself.


This article refers to Able2Extract Professional.

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