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Table of contents
What is Amazon Textract?
Uses of Textract
Advantages of AWS Textract
AWS Services are Simple to Set up
Disadvantages of AWS Textract
AWS Textract supports which document formats?
What is the purpose of the Amazon Textract Service?
Is Textract open-source?
What are the languages detected by Amazon textract?
Last Updated: Mar 27, 2024

Amazon Textract

Author Juhi Sinha
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Documents store valuable business data in many organisations. Companies have begun to rely on artificial intelligence-based services to extract and maximise information from these documents. For a long time, Amazon had been one of the most prominent players in the AI-based services market. Its wings were spread across a variety of solutions, including document processing, speech recognition, text analytics, and more. AWS Textract is a fully managed machine learning service that extracts printed text, handwriting, tables, and other data from scanned documents automatically.

We will learn all about Amazon Textract while moving further with the blog, so let's get started without any further ado!

What is Amazon Textract?

Amazon Textract is an automated text and data extraction service for scanned documents. All we have to do with Textract is upload our invoices, and it will return everything in a more structured format, including text, forms, key-value pairs, and tables. Beyond simple optical character recognition (OCR), Amazon Textract can also identify the contents of fields in forms and information stored in tables.

AWS Textract not only recognises typed text but also handwritten text in documents. This makes information extraction more useful, as handwritten text can be more difficult to extract than typed text in some cases.

Also see, Amazon Hirepro

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Uses of Textract

Robust and Normalized Data Capture: Amazon Textract can extract text and tabular data from a variety of documents, including financial records, research reports, and medical notes. These aren't custom APIs, but they do learn from a large amount of data every day, making it much easier to extract unstructured and structured data from your document.

Extraction of Key-Value Pairs: While extracting key-value pairs has become a common challenge in document processing, Amazon Textract makes it simple. Textract can be used to build key-value pair extraction pipelines that automate document processing from scanning to data transfer to Excel sheets.

Bounding boxes: All extracted data returns bounding box coordinates. The coordinates, which form a polygon frame, include each item of identifiable data, such as a single word, line, or table. When a word or number appears in the source material, this helps with the auditing process. It also assists the user in navigating document search systems that result in scans of original documents as a result of the search.

Table extraction: Amazon Textract preserves data composition in tables during extraction. It's useful for documents with a lot of structured data, like medical records, where the top row of the table has column names followed by rows of individual entries.

Creating an intelligent search index: We can create text libraries from images and PDF files using Amazon Textract. Amazon Textract uses intelligent text extraction for Natural Language Processing (NLP) to extract text into words and lines. Text is also arranged by table cells if Amazon Textract document table analysis is enabled. With Amazon Textract, you can choose how text is categorised as input for NLP.

Scores of confidence: When Amazon Textract extracts data from documents, it provides confidence scores for each word, phrase, or table it discovers, allowing us to make an informed decision about the next steps we want to take.

Advantages of AWS Textract

The various advantages of amazon textract are as follows:

AWS Services are Simple to Set up

Integrating Textract with another AWS service is a simple task compared to other providers. Configuring an add-on, for example, can be used to store extracted document data in Amazon DynamoDB or S3.


The AWS shared responsibility model, which includes data protection regulations and guidelines, is followed by Amazon Textract. We don't have to worry about our data being stolen or misused because AWS is in charge of safeguarding the global infrastructure that underpins all AWS services.

Disadvantages of AWS Textract

The various disadvantages of Amazon Textract are as follows:

Inability to Extract Custom Fields: A single invoice may contain multiple data fields, such as Invoice ID, Due Date, Transaction Date, and so on. These are fields that appear on almost all invoices. However, Textract fails when it comes to extracting a custom field from an invoice, such as a GST number or bank account information.

No Fraud Checks: Modern OCRs can now validate dates and find pixelated regions to determine whether a document is genuine or counterfeit. AWS Textract does not have this capability; its sole purpose is to extract all of the text from an uploaded document.

Integrations with upstream and downstream providers: Textract does not make it easy to integrate with different providers; for example, if we need to build an RPA pipeline with a third-party service, finding appropriate Textract plugins would be difficult.

No vertical text extraction: Invoice numbers and addresses can be found in vertical alignment in some of the documents. At the moment, AWS only supports horizontal text extraction with a slight in-plane rotation.

Supported Language: Text detection is supported by Amazon Textract in English, Spanish, German, French, Italian, and Portuguese. The language detected in Amazon Textract's output will not be returned.

Cloud Storage: Every document processed with Textract is uploaded to the cloud, with only a few regions supported. Some businesses hesitate to move their documents to the cloud due to concerns about confidentiality or legal requirements. Unfortunately, no on-premise document processing deployments are supported by AWS Textract.

Human Requirement: Textract does not allow us to retrain our information extraction tasks if our accuracy is low for a set of documents. To fix this, we'll have to invest in a human review workflow again, in which an operator manually verifies and annotates incorrectly extracted values, which is time-consuming.


AWS Textract supports which document formats?

AWS Textract supports a variety of file formats, including TIFF, PDF, JPEG, and PNG.

What is the purpose of the Amazon Textract Service?

Amazon Textract is an ML service that automatically extracts text, handwriting, and data from scanned documents. To identify, understand, and extract data from forms and tables goes beyond simple optical character recognition (OCR).

Is Textract open-source?

Textract and Document are paid services that can be accessed via a REST API from anywhere.

What are the languages detected by Amazon textract?

The languages detected by Amazon textract are English, Spanish, German, French, Italian, and Portuguese.


In this article, we have extensively discussed Amazon Textract, its uses and its advantages, and disadvantages.

We hope that this blog has helped you enhance your knowledge regarding AWS. You can check out more blogs on Amazon PollyAmazon LexAmazon Fraud DetectorAmazon SageMaker Ground Truth and Amazon SageMaker.

If you would like to learn more, check out our articles on Code studio. Do upvote our blog to help other ninjas grow.

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