Finding Words with PyPDF2

Find all instances of words in a PDF with Python’s PyPDF2 library.

This is a script for finding all instances of a given search word (or multiple search words) in a PDF.

For our example, we’ll be using a PDF of Romeo and Juliet.  In this case, our search terms are “Romeo” and “Juliet” (search is not case-sensitive).

import PyPDF2
import re




with open('FoundWordsList.csv', 'w') as f:
    f.write('{0},{1}\n'.format("Sheet Number", "Search Word"))
    for word in searchwords:
        for page in range(number_of_pages):
            words_start_pos[page]=[dwg.start() for dwg in re.finditer(word, pages_text[page].lower())]
            words[page]=[pages_text[page][value:value+len(word)] for value in words_start_pos[page]]
        for page in words:
            for i in range(0,len(words[page])):
               if str(words[page][i]) != 'nan':
                    f.write('{0},{1}\n'.format(page+1, words[page][i]))
                    print(page, words[page][i])

We run the script and get an output that shows each instance of each search word and the associated PDF page number:

This script can be used for a variety of other applications by updating the file path (line 4) and the search terms (line 12).

A few ideas for modification include:

  • Frequency counts of words in books/lyrics (ATS has an awesome frequency count graph generator)
  • Finding reference drawing numbers in a document
  • Identify search terms by prefixes rather than whole words
  • Identifying sheets that need to be updated
  • Using glob to iterate through multiple files

How else would you modify this script?  Let me know!

Thanks for reading!

Special thanks to these sources:

Automate the Boring Stuff with Python
ritesh_shrv on Stack Overflow