Web app for handling PDFs

So I’m wanting to have a webapp where users can upload a pdf document and have it parsed to text so I can process the text. I see that webflow doesn’t have file storage so before I invest too much time. Does anyone know if this is even possible to do with Webflow?

Here are the parts of your systems

  1. Front end design - Webflow
  2. PDF capture - Webflow?
  3. Text extraction - Your custom code
  4. Custom text processing - custom code

1 is what Webflow is all about

2 Webflow can do however file uploads requires the business hosting plan

3 is all you, if you’re using something off-the shelf to extract, you may be able to use automation like Make.com or Zapier to collect and process those PDFs, and pass them to other logic

4 is all you. You’d need to setup and host whatever processing code you need to perform those tasks.

You also need to think about the end result here. If you results need to be returned to the user somehow, or stored in a user account, things get more complex.

Webflow is not a tool for building apps, any more than Photoshop is a tool for making movies. Different focus entirely.

Welcome @mrcrayon :wave:

Yes it is! (with the help of 3rd parties)

Here’s how I’d approach it:

Webflow → Make (Integromat) → CloudConvert

There are a TON of online tools to convert PDFs to text for you but I like CloudConvert. They do a solid job of things.

Here is CloudConvert’s PDF document converter. They allow you to demo it on that page.

Make (Integromat) has a module to connect to CloudConvert. Here’s a walk through of that.

When you’re done doing all of that and you want to tell the user (after they submit a document) and/or redirect them somewhere I have a tutorial that walks through how to handle all of that:

Throw a paywall in front of this (e.g. Stripe) and boom! You’ve got a SaaS tool :smile:

You can make all of this work, good luck!

Thanks to both of you for the suggestions. I’m going to take the approach of using Make as I have used that in the past and am familiar with it. The only unfortunate part is having to upgrade all the way to business for the site just to test the file upload part :confused:

Not sure why you would do that, or if it would work if you did. Webflow’s upload solution is a different thing.

I wouldn’t go that route…

I recommend using a free Uploadcare account and integrate that with Make and CloudConvert instead.


Just thought I would share. I got the integration going between webflow, uploadcare and make.
Turns out that uploadcare puts the files in a public CDN before pulling it down to their servers. So the files are still accessible on the public CDN and can be accessed and indexed publicly.
Unfortunately that makes uploadcare unusable for privacy reasons.

I’m going to keep searching for an alternative solution. May end up having to do my own code.

I found transloadit.com. Which works fantastic and I was even able to have it push the uploads into AWS S3. Everthing is protected. They are the ones that created the Uppy upload tool so I put that insided embedded code and it’s been flawless and fast.
On to the next challenge.

How did you implement transloadit to you webflow website?