in reply to How to parse PDF

The simple answer is you have to try it.

Pipe your pdf through the pdftotext tool (on Ubuntu in the poppler-utils package), and see if the output is parsable. That doesn't take very long, you can test it literally in two minutes.

Take a look at PDF::Parse and PDF and see if they help you.

But in principle it is much easier to validate the data before it is put into a PDF - have you tried to ask the external vendor if he could provide the same data in a format that is easier accessible?