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Streamlining Automated PDF Testing Strategy

Automated automated pdf testing-ACCELQ
Posted On: 24 April 2023

PDF validation is a critical aspect of any testing strategy. But to drive better testing outcomes, it makes sense to automate the traditionally manual task of PDF testing and make it an integral part of your workflow.

What Is PDF Testing?

As more organizations digitally transform themselves, documents also need to be electronically produced and shared with employees, partners, and customers. Let’s take an example. When a customer visits a bank to open a new account, they need to fill in details in a form which is then converted into a digital record. This digital copy needs to be properly tested to ensure the contents are accurate and clear.

PDF testing is a software testing process that checks and validates the content of a PDF document. As PDF files become a popular way to distribute read-only content across various industries, PDF testing helps verify if the files are created as specified. In addition, since many applications today generate PDF files on the fly, PDF validation enables testing teams to ensure that the content of important documents, whether it is an invoice or an e-book, is correct.

When a PDF download is triggered, a PDF testing tool will assert against the elements it contains – leaving no room for error. Using simple, codeless setups, such a tool can monitor and scan PDF files and verify them against established baselines. In essence, by thoroughly scanning a PDF document and validating all its contents, PDF testing helps detect the smallest of issues in comprehensive documents.

What Is the Importance of a PDF Testing Strategy?

What is pdf testing?-ACCELQ

PDF documents are often the result of a complex business process. Therefore, to ensure the contents of your PDF files are accurate, you need to craft an appropriate PDF testing strategy. In sum, a robust PDF testing strategy allows you to build an outline that describes the PDF testing approach. From high-level organizational objectives to actual test activities that help meet those objectives, a PDF testing strategy helps accomplish all this and more.

Having a dedicated PDF testing strategy is critical to ensure the project’s success. This strategy needs to clearly define the scope of the testing activity, quality objectives, and assumptions. It also needs to list down test environments, phases, and approaches. In addition, it needs to detail the risk analysis and release management process and also state reviews and approvals.

So, from a quality assurance perspective, a PDF testing strategy needs to specify three critical aspects:

  • The process you will use to test the PDF document
  • The tools you will adopt to meet the agreed objectives
  • The people you will employ who can carry out the PDF testing activity

Why Should You Automate PDF Testing?

PDF files are extremely long and complex. Automated PDF testing allows testing teams to streamline the testing process and accomplish the intended results quickly. An automated PDF testing tool can allow you to achieve continuous test automation and pave the way for end-to-end business automation.

Using a single platform that seamlessly connects to all your PDF testing needs, an automated PDF testing tool enables you to:

  • List down the elements of a PDF document that require testing
  • Validate PDF contents, including text, images, and graphical objects
  • Test objects such as font, font size, and position
  • Compare two PDF documents and verify their contents
  • Confirm layouts and make sure no content is outside page limits
  • Detect invisible, cropped, or partially hidden objects
  • Conduct textual and graphical checks for individual elements

How ACCELQ Helps with PDF Validation

As an AI-enabled, cloud-based test automation tool, ACCELQ offers several testing capabilities to test across the enterprise tech stack. In addition, the tool allows for codeless test automation on the cloud, from mobile and web testing to API and desktop testing.

In the realm of PDF testing, ACCELQ supports several test cases for seamless end-to-end PDF validation. The tool automates the traditionally manual task of PDF validation, making it easier to integrate it into the testing workflow. When a PDF is downloaded, ACCELQ will automatically detect the downloaded PDF and allow testing teams to test the elements it contains.

Therefore, with ACCELQ, you can ensure the contents of all important PDF documents generated or shared are correct. You can either create simple steps to check for text or image errors or craft complex test suites to test embedded links and fuzzy images.

Let’s look at some of ACCELQ’s PDF testing use cases:

1. Get Matching Text

Automation can help read and return matching text based on a given regular expression pattern from the PDF file. For instance, using parameters like file location type, PDF file path, text pattern to find, and occurrence index of test to be retrieved, you can receive text matching with the given regex pattern.

2. Get the Number of Pages

Using ACCELQ, you can automatically test the number of pages in each PDF file. All you have to do is specify the file location type and PDF file path, and the tool instantly validates the number of pages.

3. Get Page Text

If you want to gather text from specified pages in a PDF document, you can specify the file location type, file path, and custom page range (for example, 7-13 or 2,3,5). ACCLEQ will return text from given pages in the PDF document.

4. Get Text Between Two Boundaries

You can use ACCELQ to read and return the text between provided text boundaries from a PDF file, including match type and index.

5. Detect Text

If you want to test if the PDF file has any text, ACCELQ will return a true value if there is text or false if there is no text.

6. Verify the Number of Pages

Using ACCELQ, you can verify the number of pages in a PDF document. The verification checks the file at the given file location and returns the expected page count.

7. Verify Text

You can also use ACCELQ to verify the text in a given PDF file. Using the verification command, you can check the expected page text across different matching options, including ignore case, match case, and regex pattern.

PDF Testing Done Right

PDF documents find several use cases across various business applications, from manuals to proposals, whitepapers to e-books, account statements to invoices, and receipts to documentation. PDFs offer portability and convenience. But given the important content these documents contain, it is crucial to test.

An automated PDF testing strategy can help organizations confirm and validate text, images, and links within these documents.

ACCELQ provides extensive support for PDF validation. Contact us to know more!


Director, Product Evangelist at ACCELQ.

Geosley is a Test Automation Evangelist and Community builder at ACCELQ. Being passionate about continuous learning, Geosley helps ACCELQ with innovative solutions to transform test automation to be simpler, more reliable, and sustainable for the real world.

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