Reading Data from PDFs

Duke University

· Durham, NC

How to find us

Please meet us in Rubinstein Library room 249.

Location image of event venue


What will we cover in this hands-on workshop?
To get data into R, the first step is to import it. It’s very common to get data from databases, csv files, Excel files, APIs, or from websites through HTML tables. One less common but tricky way to get data is from PDFs. PDFs come in 2 forms - machine readable and non-machine readable. Dr. Stephanie Zimmer will give examples of both and discuss some tricks and tips she's learned to get these data into R so they can be analyzed. The bulk of the work will be done by two packages: pdftools and tesseract. We will also use the tidyverse package to parse data once it's in R.

What's the schedule?
6:00pm - 6:15pm - Networking
6:15pm - 6:35pm - Lightning Talks* (Karen Jin et al. & Margaret Reed et al.)
6:35pm - 6:45pm - Set up (install R packages, etc.)
6:45pm - 7:45pm - Workshop
7:45pm - 8:00pm - Wrap up

*We are looking for Lightning Talk presenters! Please email Sheila at [masked] or message her on Meetup if you are interested in giving a five minute Lightning Talk.

What should I bring?
Please bring your own (fully charged) laptop.

What about parking?
The best place to park for this event is the Bryan Center Garage on Science Drive. It is $1 for 30 minutes.

Who should come?
Beginners are welcome and encouraged to join this event but please install the most recent version of R as well as RStudio on your laptop before attending this meetup event. Experienced R users are also encouraged to update their versions of R and RStudio as well as their R packages (in RStudio go to Tools > Check for package updates...). Here are links to free downloads for R ( and RStudio ( Downloading and installing both of these programs before this meetup will help us keep on schedule and make sure you learn the most you can while at the meetup event.

All events are intended for women as leaders, mentors, members, and attendees. We are emphatically queer and trans friendly. Men are welcomed to attend *as guests* and must be accompanied by the R-Lady who invited them. This group was created so those who identify as women have a comfortable place to learn. If you would like to attend and feel excluded, please introduce yourself to an organizer.