There has been significant investment by Mentor Graphics in the netlist flow and obtaining symbols for parts over the last year. Jim Martens highlighted it this morning in his post, PartQuest for PADS is Almost Here!
PartQuest links into supplier databases, like Digi-Key and matches the parts to symbols and footprints in a simple to manage download. First introduced with the Designer PCB flow, PartQuest significantly reduces the time required to make parts.
Next for the parts that don't exist in PartQuest, improvements to the Excel import template have been made to make it easier to import pin lists into NSE. For fractured parts add an additional column for each fracture. My wish list enhancements to the template would be some error checking to verify spaces and duplicate pins have been corrected, I just haven't gotten there yet.
The PDF structure in documents, publishing software, and reader versions can vary widely so mining this data without significant review is unlikely to achieve the desired results. Manual PDF mining into a spreadsheet which is then copied into the Excel template above results in success, but is more than the simple import you desire.
I have used SymXpert for several years with great success. Unfortunately the company no longer exist. The program uses plugins for Adobe 7 (I believe) for extraction purposes. I think it is just a matter of time before newer Adobe PDF versions of datasheets will render the tool useless. I have been looking for a replacement.
The only tool that I have found that works in a similar fashion is EDABuilder. This tool appears to capture data from a PDF in a similar fashion as SymXpert. It supports several flows.
I am very disappointed that some other company didn't try to continue on with SymXpert. In my experience, it did a VERY good job of harvesting data from PDF's.
I have a similar question on this forum as to if Mentor Graphics offer a tool which does the same job as that offered by Cadence.
Link to my question is here
I have had a look at EDABuilder and again this seems to be a Cadence aligned product, with just a passing support for Pads (Nothing for Expedition flow at all)
If really does seem that the tools are out there for Cadence products but Mentor offer nothing.