I'm trying to get the content of a web page that is written in pdf format.
The following code worked very well for me when I tried to read a regular web page, but it prints all kinds of weird letters when I try it on a pdf page like this one:

url='http://fetac.ie/MODULES/D20120.pdf'
content=urllib2.urlopen(url).read()
print content

Any suggestion? (a brief code example will be great, thanks!)

Hi, thanks for the responds...
The first option you suggested is not actually what I want. I want to get the content as a text file for later parsing.
The second option is a little bit complex fro me. I don't see how I open a web page this way. So I tried to save the pdf file first to my computer, then open it with the pyPdf thing.
This is my code:

import urllib2,os
import webbrowser
import pyPdf


url='http://fetac.ie/MODULES/D20120.pdf'
content=urllib2.urlopen(url).read()

filename = "pdfExample.pdf"
fout=open(filename, "wb")
fout.write(content)
fout.close()


def getPDFContent(path):
content = ""
# Load PDF into pyPDF
pdf = pyPdf.PdfFileReader(file(path, "rb"))
# Iterate pages
for i in range(0, pdf.getNumPages()):
# Extract text from page and add to content
content += pdf.getPage(i).extractText() + "\n"
# Collapse whitespace
content = " ".join(content.replace("\xa0", " ").strip().split())
return content

print getPDFContent(filename)


When I run it, I get an exception:

"File "c:\appdata\local\temp\easy_install-pbbgen\pyPdf-1.12-py2.5-win32.egg.tmp\pyPdf\pdf.py", line 555, in getObject
raise Exception, "file has not been decrypted"
Exception: file has not been decrypted"

1. Any suggestions for the problem? When I run each part seperately, it works, but for some reason, saving the pdf file this way isn't enough for the pyPdf thing to open it later.
2. Isn't there a better way than saving it to the computer, then open it etc. ? Isn't there something for reading a pdf directly from the web page?

first, it is better to use code tags.
Having that said, it seems the PDF is encrypted. So try something not encrypted or check for decryption option if available in pyPDF module (I have never used it)

Whether or not the text of the PDF is 'available' is an option for the PDF publisher. I remember several tech documents that were designed intentionally to not allow you to copy the text out of them.

It sounds as if your target document might fall into that category. You could check by using a 'normal' browser to save the file to disk. Then open the file with an 'official' reader and check the properties.

(This would also give you a pdf on disk that you could practice the pdf part of your code with.)

Thanks for all the responds.
It really is a specific problem with this pdf. With some other pdf files my code works well. So I can say it's preety much "solved".
I'm still looking for a different option that doesn't force me to save the pdf file before opening it again for the parsing.

This question has already been answered. Start a new discussion instead.