PDF::Inspector: A tool for analyzing PDF output

Maintained: yes Build status

This library provides a number of PDF::Reader based tools for use in testing PDF output. Presently, the primary purpose of this tool is to support the tests found in Prawn, a pure Ruby PDF generation library.

However, it may be useful to others, so we have made it available as a gem in its own right.


The recommended installation method is via Rubygems.

gem install pdf-inspector

Or put this in your Gemfile, if you use Bundler:

group :test do
  gem 'pdf-inspector', require: "pdf/inspector"


Check for text in the generated PDF:

rendered_pdf = your_pdf_document.render
text_analysis = PDF::Inspector::Text.analyze(rendered_pdf)
text_analysis.strings # => ["foo"]

Note that strings returns an array containing one string for each text drawing operation in the PDF. As a result, sentences and paragraphs will often be returned in fragments. To test for the presence of a complete sentence or a longer string, join the array together with an operation like full_text = text_analysis.strings.join(" ").

Check number of pages

rendered_pdf = your_pdf_document.render
page_analysis = PDF::Inspector::Page.analyze(rendered_pdf)
page_analysis.pages.size # => 2


Matz’s terms for Ruby, GPLv2, or GPLv3. See LICENSE for details.

Mailing List

pdf-inspector is maintained as a dependency of Prawn, the ruby PDF generation library.

Any questions or feedback should be sent to the Prawn google group.


pdf-inspector was originally developed by Gregory Brown as part of the Prawn1 project. In 2010, Gregory officially handed the project off to the Prawn core team. Currently active maintainers include Brad Ediger, Daniel Nelson, James Healy, and Jonathan Greenberg.

You can find the full list of Github users who have at least one patch accepted to pdf-inspector on GitHub Contributors page.