Working with PDFs in Claude 2 AI

Have you been playing with ChatGPT, but sometimes find yourself mentally exhausted when it comes to thinking about the right prompt or question to give it? If this sounds like you, then you’ll definitely want to read further.

Anthropic’s text generating Claude AI has recently been given an extreme upgrade in performance from its 1.3 iteration. 

Claude 2 (pronounced “cloud“) is outperforming its predecessor on all AI benchmarks, plus this friendly large language model does so much more than just simply answering your questions.

And that’s why in this blog post, we’re going to take a look at working with PDFs in Claude 2 AI. You never know, you just might learn something new today!

Working with PDFs in Claude 2 AI

One of Claude 2 AI’s cool features is that it can analyze a whole bunch of words in one go — in fact, up to about 75,000, apparently, which is equivalent to about half of Charles Dickens’ classic novel Great Expectations. This is significantly more than what ChatGPT can do at the moment. It can also handle up to ive files at once!

In addition, Claude 2 can also generate around 3,000 words in its responses.

This means that Claude 2 has a much better chance of processing text that you will want to use, and it’s also unlikely that it will forget your conversations, due to its high token context window, which offers even more advantages when it comes to other generative text AI models, like ChatGPT.

If you haven’t already signed up for early access to Claude 2, you can do so via its parent company Anthropic’s website. Alternatively, like we did, you can have a play with Claude 2 now for free by using Quora’s Poe AI interface.

In order to use Claude AI through Poe, you’ll need to visit Poe to create an account. You don’t need to enter your email and phone if you already have a Google or Quora account.

In addition, if you’re tech-savvy and don’t mind the developer-like appearance, you can also interact with Claude 2 for free on the Vercel AI Playground, although for this blog post, we chose to interact with the more user friendly Poe AI.

Once you enter the Poe interface, in the left-hand column you’ll find options to interact with Claude 2, ChatGPT, and Google-PaLM, although for this blog, we’re going to concentrate on what Claude 2 can do with PDFs. You can also get there by entering

Getting Started With Claude 2

To get us started with Claude’s AI interface, we asked for a simple recipe for old-fashioned blueberry pie (just like grandma used to make) to see what it would offer us in terms of options to peruse after it generated our recipe, which we are definitely going to try — yum! We use ChatGPT often for meal ideas and meal planning, so let’s see how Claude 2 does.

So, we asked:

How do you make old-fashioned blueberry pie with shortcrust pastry?

And here’s what Claude 2 replied with:

Here is a recipe for old-fashioned blueberry pie with shortcrust pastry:


For the pastry:

  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour 
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2/3 cup cold unsalted butter, cut into cubes  
  • 5-8 tbsp ice cold water

For the filling:

  • 4 cups fresh blueberries 
  • Juice of 1/2 lemon
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/8 tsp nutmeg
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 tbsp butter


1. Make the pastry dough – In a large bowl, mix together the flour and salt. Cut in the cold butter with a pastry blender or fork until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Add ice water 1 tablespoon at a time, mixing gently with a fork until dough just starts to come together. Form into a disk, wrap in plastic and refrigerate for 30 mins. 

2. Roll out bottom crust – On a floured surface, roll out the chilled dough into a 12-inch round. Fold gently in quarters and transfer to a 9-inch pie plate. Unfold and ease pastry into plate, trimming edges. 

3. Make the filling – In a large bowl, gently mix together the blueberries, lemon juice, sugar, flour, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt. 

4. Assemble and bake – Pour filling into bottom pie crust. Dot pieces of the 1 tbsp butter over top. Roll out second half of pastry dough for top crust. Place over filling and crimp edges to seal. Cut vent holes in top. 

5. Bake at 400°F for 20 minutes. Reduce heat to 350°F and bake for 30-40 minutes more until crust is golden brown. Let cool on a wire rack before serving.

Enjoy your old-fashioned blueberry pie!

Then Claude 2 gave us more suggestions of questions that we may want to ask it:

However, we chose to click on the ‘Tell me more’ button to see what would happen, and this is what we got:

Here are some more tips for making delicious old-fashioned blueberry pie with a shortcrust pastry:

  • Use cold or frozen blueberries. The cold fruit will help keep the pie juices thickened instead of runny.
  • Mix the sugar and flour together before tossing with the berries. This coats the fruit and prevents the pie from being overly juicy. 
  • For extra flavor, add a teaspoon of fresh lemon zest to the filling.
  • You can use a lattice top crust instead of a full top crust. It’s very traditional and allows steam to escape while baking. 
  • Brush the top crust lightly with milk or cream before baking for a golden brown sheen. 
  • Sprinkle a teaspoon or two of coarse sugar, like turbinado or demerara, on top of the pie crust before baking for a nice crunch.
  • Let the baked pie cool completely on a wire rack before slicing. This allows the filling to thicken and solidify. 
  • Serve slices warm with a scoop of vanilla ice cream or lightly sweetened whipped cream.
  • Store any leftover pie in the fridge. Blueberry pie tastes even better the next day once the flavors have had time to meld.
  • Play around with the spice blend in the filling. A dash of cinnamon, nutmeg, and/or cardamom adds warmth.
  • Make it a blueberry-peach pie by using half blueberries and half sliced peaches. So delicious!

Not bad! Now that we’re oriented, let’s see how Claude 2 can handle PDF documents.

Claude AI and PDF Docs

Now it’s time to see what Claude 2 can do when it comes to dealing with a PDF document. We used our digital copy of the classic Dante’s Inferno to test the generative AI, which comes in at around 100,000 words — 25,000 more than is suggested it can handle. 

We attached our PDF file in the prompt box, and added our text, which was: 

Please give me a five paragraph synopsis of this book.

We used the world ‘please’ in our prompt, because it has been shown that speaking kindly to any generative AI encourages it to give you more truthful answers. And it’s good to be polite to an entity that may someday rule over us like a god.

This was the response that we got: 

Here is a five paragraph synopsis of The Divine Comedy, Volume 1 – Inferno by Dante Alighieri:

Paragraph 1: 

The Inferno begins with Dante lost in a dark wood, about to be attacked by three wild beasts. He is rescued by the spirit of the Roman poet Virgil, who tells Dante he has been sent to guide him on a journey through the afterlife. Virgil leads Dante through the gates of Hell, marked with the ominous words “Abandon all hope, you who enter here.”

Paragraph 2:

Dante and Virgil descend through the nine circles of Hell, encountering various sinners along the way. Each circle punishes a different type of sin, with sinners suffering ironic and fitting punishments for eternity. Dante sees the lustful blown about by winds, gluttons lying in mud, hoarders and wastrels pushing boulders, and so on. Virgil explains the logic behind each punishment to Dante as they go.

Paragraph 3:  

In the deepest reaches of Hell, Dante speaks with doomed souls including Francesca da Rimini, condemned for adultery, the prophet Muhammad, and Judas Iscariot. Monsters including Medusa, the Minotaur, and the giant Antaeus appear. After passing Satan frozen at Hell’s core, Dante and Virgil emerge to see the stars again. 

Paragraph 4:

Throughout the journey, Dante gazes in horror but also pity at the suffering souls. Though Virgil explains God’s justice, Dante often struggles to understand the reasons behind the punishments and feels compassion for many of the damned. The sights and sounds he witnesses leave an indelible mark.

Paragraph 5: 

The Inferno introduces Dante’s ingenious system of metaphysical punishments for earthly sins. It also establishes the poem’s mix of classical mythology, medieval philosophy, politics, and religion. Dante makes a momentous journey that will change him forever as he prepares to ascend Mount Purgatory in the next part of the Divine Comedy.

It only took Claude 2 about two minutes to generate this, which is pretty quick. To continue, again we chose to click on the ‘Tell me more’ button to see what the AI would do, and this is what we got (after another couple of minutes):

Here are some additional key details about Dante’s Inferno:

  • The poem is written in terza rima, an interlocking three-line rhyme scheme that gives it a very musical quality. Dante invented this form.
  • The number three is significant throughout, reflecting the Holy Trinity. There are three sections to the Divine Comedy (Inferno, Purgatorio, Paradiso) and 33 cantos in each section. 
  • Virgil represents human reason and wisdom, while Beatrice, who will appear later, represents divine grace. Dante draws on both to achieve spiritual transformation.
  • Political feuds in 14th century Florence and clashes between the papacy and Holy Roman Empire provide context for Dante’s vivid depictions of contemporary figures he meets in Hell.
  • Dante reserves the deepest circle of Hell for betrayers, revealing his hatred of deception and disloyalty. Here he encounters Judas, Brutus, and Cassius.
  • The harrowing journey leaves Dante terrified at times but also feeling pity for the inhabitants of the underworld, who are eternally cut off from God’s light.
  • Dante’s extremely inventive contrapasso punishments become a hallmark of the poem. The sinners experience fates either resembling their sin or directly opposite it.
  • Although a medieval Catholic work, the Inferno has resonated through the centuries as a powerful literary exploration of human morality, suffering, and the nature of evil.

Claude 2 also highlighted some of the generated text, as shown in the above image. So, we clicked on ‘spiritual transformation’ to see what would happen, and we received this from the AI chatbot:

Dante’s spiritual transformation is a central theme that develops throughout the entire Divine Comedy. Some key aspects related to the Inferno:

  • At the beginning of his journey, Dante is lost and struggling with sin. Virgil’s arrival marks the beginning of his awakening and rehabilitation.
  • As Dante observes the inhabitants of Hell, he is often moved to pity, weeping for their suffering. This shows the growth of his compassion.
  • Dante faints out of sympathy several times in the Inferno, overwhelmed by what he sees. Each time he grows in fortitude and resilience. 
  • Virgil frequently explains the logical relationship between a sin and its punishment. Dante comes to understand God’s justice on a deeper level.
  • When Dante witnesses horrific punishments, it strengthens his resolve to avoid sin when he returns to the land of the living. 
  • Dante is changed by the horrors he witnesses and the insights he gains. Near the end, Beatrice will accuse him of having forgotten her guidance, showing he has more growth ahead.
  • The pilgrimage through Hell marks an initial phase of awareness for Dante regarding the true destructive nature of sin and the need for spiritual reform.
  • The journey prepares Dante for his continuing ascent toward God, which requires profound self-reflection, repentance, and openness to divine grace.

So in short, Dante’s confrontation with the reality of Hell initiates a process of self-knowledge, moral learning, and understanding of divine justice that transforms his soul.

Who needs CliffNotes when you can get all of this information about classic literature like Dante’s Inferno from Claude 2’s AI chatbot?

Final Thoughts

As you can see, working with PDFs in Claude 2 is pretty easy, so we encourage you to play around with this friendly AI chatbot to see what it can do to help you with your PDFs, whether they be classic books, business plans or reports, or even legal documents.

And the fact that this text generator can do many things that ChatGPT falls flat with, you can bet that you’ll be hearing more about Claude 2 as time goes on.