Command line tool to extract figures, tables, and captions from scholarly documents in PDF form.



pdffigures is a command line tool that can be used to extract figures, tables, and captions from scholarly documents. See the project website.

NOTE: an updated version of this tool written in Scala is available here. The updated version is expected to be generally superior to this one, especially on less standard papers, however there are some cases where this version will run faster (see this paper for more details).


  1. Compile the command line tools:

make DEBUG=0

  1. Run on a new PDF document and display the results:

pdffigures -f /path/to/pdf

See pdffigures -help for a list of additional command line arguements.


pdffigures requires leptonica and poppler to be installed. On MAC both of these dependencies can be installed through homebrew:

brew install leptonica poppler

On Ubuntu 14.04 these dependencies can be installed through apt-get:

sudo apt-get install libpoppler-dev libleptonica-dev

On Ubuntu >= 15.04:

sudo apt-get install libpoppler-private-dev libleptonica-dev

pdffigures has been tested with poppler 3.0,3.4,3.7, although I expect most other versions to be compatible, and leptonica 1.72

pdffigures uses std::regex, therefore compiling on Ubuntu requires g++ >= 4.9


pdffigures has been tested on MAC OS X 10.9 and 10.10, Ubuntu 14.04, 15.04, and 15.10, Windows is not supported.


If you are having trouble with pkg-config and poppler, you might have multiple poppler.pc on your computer. On Ubuntu 15.10, a user found one in /usr/lib/x86_64-linux-gnu/pkgconfig/ and one in /usr/local/lib/pkgconfig/. Make sure to choose the appropriate one (by adding the appropriate path to the PKG_CONFIG_PATH variable in your bashrc.)