Everyday Prompt Engineering Part Three: Working with PDF Documents

In our two previous instalments of our everyday prompt engineering series, we have learned how to use prompts to write emails and to write blogs. Another task, that is happening quite often, is to go through documents and extract the key information to create concise summaries. This skill is particularly useful in environments where there is a high volume of reading material, such as in legal, academic, or corporate settings.

In this part, we will delve into strategies for summarising documents effectively using prompt engineering. The focus will be on identifying the main ideas, distilling complex information into more manageable parts, and presenting it in a clear, concise manner. We'll explore techniques for understanding the structure of a document, recognizing its central themes, and discerning which details are crucial to the overall message. Other than that we also explore how to modify PDFs and transform into different formats.

By the end of this blog post, you will be equipped with a toolkit for efficiently condensing large amounts of text without losing the essence of the content. This will not only save you time but also enhance your ability to communicate key points to others who may not have the time or inclination to read through the entire document.

Table of Content

A table of contents provides an easy reference for navigating and locating specific content within a PDF. It creates a list of headings or sections with their corresponding page numbers, summarizing the structure and organization of a PDF document.

Generate a table of contents with the page numbers of the PDF.

Three-Sentence Summary

Here, you distill each section of a PDF into three clear and succinct sentences, ensuring you capture the fundamental concepts and key ideas.

Summarize each section of the PDF in just three concise sentences, capturing the core ideas.

Bullet-Point Extraction

This prompt gets you all the essential information from each section in a concise format, suitable for presentation or quick reference. It helps distill complex documents into key takeaways, making it easier to grasp the core concepts and ideas.

Extract key bullet points from each section to give an overview of the main topics covered.

Keyword Extraction

The significance of keywords shouldn't be overlooked. They not only offer a succinct overview of a document's content but also indicate its knowledge domain. For instance, in a multitude of customer reviews, identifying keywords can help discern the overall sentiment towards a product or service.

Identify and list the most frequently occurring keywords and key phrases in the PDF, to give a snapshot of the main themes.

Additionally, ChatGPT has the capability to create word clouds, providing a visual representation for easy and quick comprehension.

Create a word cloud from this PDF by following this straightforward Python method, which involves tokenizing the text and removing stop words. Instead of depending on NLTK’s built-in stop word list, it’s recommended to create a custom stop word list tailored for your needs. Please note that I cannot provide you with a predefined list of stop words.

QA Summary

QA summaries are both engaging and highly specific, efficiently addressing the most pertinent inquiries. Ideal for technical documents or user manuals, this format transforms the content into a question-and-answer layout, directly answering the most critical questions of the audience.

Transform the main points of each section of this PDF into a Q&A format, making it easier for the reader to understand the essence of the content.

Tabular Summary

Tables aren't just confined to spreadsheets, they are also an excellent tool for visually organizing and summarising information in a clear and accessible format.

Summarize the content of this PDF by organizing key points into a Markdown table with columns for section names, key findings, and implications.

Key Sentence Extraction

Key sentence extraction retains sections of the original text, offering insight into not only the content's message but also its style and tone.

Identify and extract the key sentences from each section of this PDF that sum up the primary points.

Content Analysis

Sometimes you have a document with complex technical content and need to make it accessible for a broader audience. A good technique is to instruct ChatGPT to act as tutor and ask it to explain it to a non technical person.

Act as tutor for large language models. Explain the content of the PDF to a non technical person.

Splitting PDFs

The objective here is to break down a single PDF document into multiple individual files, each containing a distinct section or segment of the original content. This process allows for better organization and easier access to specific information within the document, facilitating efficient document management and retrieval. By dividing the PDF into separate files, users can focus on relevant content without the need to navigate through the entire document.

Divide the PDF into separate files, each containing a distinct section of the original document.

You can also use page ranges for splitting PDFs.

Separate the PDF into two smaller PDFs based on page ranges: 1-5, 6-10.

PDF to Text Conversion

Converting a PDF to plain text is useful for various purposes, such as text analysis, searchability, or accessibility, as it makes the document's content more versatile and accessible for different applications.

Convert the PDF to plain text.

Note that the result might not be very readable with because of the formatting. To overcome this, you can improve the result with this prompt.

This text is poorly formatted. remove unnecessary line breaks and transform it into a readable look. UNDER NO CIRCUMSTANCES CHANGE THE WORDING. break it down into smaller subtasks. text=“””<text>”””

Merge Multiple PDFs

Merging multiple PDFs into a single document can streamline document management and improve accessibility. This process not only simplifies storage and sharing but also ensures that all the important information is contained within a single, easily navigable PDF.

Combine these PDF files into a single PDF document

You can also merge page ranges from several PDFs into a new document.

Insert page 1-3 from the first PDF into the second PDF after page 6.

Delete Pages

Removing pages from a PDF is rather straightforward.

Remove pages 1 and 3 from the PDF.

Add comments

You can add a comment anywhere in the file.

Add a comment to the first page of the PDF. comment =“”””Comment”””

Rotate Pages

If you have to adjust the orientation of pages within the PDF, you can ask ChatGPT directly.

Rotate the first page of the PDF into landscape.


Adding a watermark is also very simple.

Insert a watermark into the PDF that is written diagonally across the page. watermark = """Watermark"""

Password Protection

Sometimes you want to make sure that only people that know the password can open the document.

Secure the PDF with a password for restricted access. password ="""password"""


The translation from one language to another requires a multi step approach.

Translate the text of the PDF into German. First split the document into single pages. Then, translate page by page.

Image Capture

Extracting images or diagrams from articles is a task within ChatGPT's capabilities.

Extract and store all images from the PDF file. Then, gather these images and create a zip file, offering a download link.

Locating Text

If you want to scan for a specific topic in a document, you can simply ask for it.

Which pages in this document mention prompt engineering?

You can also ask for the paragraphs of the document.

Which paragraphs in this document mention prompt engineering? Return a list with the paragraphs.


ChatGPT's capacity to transform and analyze PDFs also emphasizes its role as a tool for effective document management and communication enhancement. It covers a variety of approaches, including creating tables of contents, summarizing sections in a few sentences or bullet points, extracting key information, and rearranging content into different formats like Q&A or tables. Last but not least, it showcases the versatility of prompt engineering in handling diverse tasks within PDF document management and analysis.

Everyday Prompt Engineering Part One: Emails

Everyday Prompt Engineering Part Two: Blogs

Introduction to prompt engineering

Key Elements for Effective Prompt Engineering

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