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  1. #1
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    Question Search capability on *.pdf documents

    Did you ever volunteer to do something, then part way through it almost wish you had kept your mouth shut? I'm not really to that point yet, but I have offered to scan to *.pdf 113 (so far) back newsletters for an organization that I belong to and I have run into an issue I hadn't anticipated. I am scanning them using my HP Officejet Pro 8500 and scanning them to searchable *.pdf. My problem is, I have no difficulty viewing the end product in my Adobe Reader XI, but unless I am missing something somewhere free Adobe Reader does not offer word search capability even on *.pdf documents created as searchable.

    To make a long story short, is there any simple solution available out there? I am more than willing to pay a reasonable price for something that will give me the search capability and maybe some useful *.pdf editing tools, but I prefer not paying $300 for Adobe Acrobat when I will be using it so infrequently. I have looked online and found several applications that say they will edit *.pdf but not one of them that I have looked at specifically lists a search capability in their listed features. Most range in cost from freeware up to about $100 in cost, but I don't want to buy something to find out it lacks search capability just as my Adobe Reader XI does.

    Any suggestions out there? Freeware would be nice, but I am willing to pay a reasonable cost for software that is easy to learn and has some useful editing tools including search capability. What (if any) are my options?

    David E. Cann

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  3. #2
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    Are you talking about searching within one PDF document, or searching a whole bunch of them within a folder?

    Adobe Reader XI has Find Text, either from a magnifying glass icon on the toolbar or from the Edit menu, Find.

    If you need word search for PDFs within a folder, you may need the free Adobe PDF iFilter 9 for 64-bit platforms

    Bruce
    Last edited by BruceR; 2013-06-20 at 12:09.

  4. #3
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    In my initial query I was referring to a single *.pdf document at a time, but I can see where searching multiple documents could be useful as well. By the time I finish scanning these 113+ newsletters, searching them all at once could be very useful.
    Quote Originally Posted by BruceR View Post
    Are you talking about searching within one PDF document, or searching a whole bunch of them within a folder?

    Adobe Reader XI has Find Text, either from a magnifying glass icon on the toolbar or from the Edit menu, Find.

    If you need word search for PDFs within a folder, you may need the free Adobe PDF iFilter 9 for 64-bit platforms

    Bruce

    David E. Cann

  5. #4
    Silver Lounger mrjimphelps's Avatar
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    Keep in mind that there are two types of PDF documents -- one is an image of text, and the other is actual text. When you scan documents to PDF, you are almost certainly getting the "image" type of PDF document, because to get actual text, it would have to go through an OCR process.

    It's a lot more complicated to search through an image document than actual text. I suspect that this is where your problem lies.

    There are two scanning programs which may be of use here -- scannito and vuescan (?). They may be capable of scanning to text (i.e. they may have OCR capabilities built in). If so, then you will be able to do a text search through the PDF files, because they will have been converted to text during the scanning process.
    Last edited by mrjimphelps; 2013-06-20 at 14:40.

  6. #5
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    All I know is, I am scanning them using the option in my HP scanner software to scan them as searchable. This has been confirmed by sending a copy to a friend who had no difficulty at all searching it using Adobe ACROBAT 9, but neither he nor I can find any means of searching the same file using Adobe READER no matter what I try. This is why I am looking for some alternate software to do that. Do you know of any such software that will search a *.pdf file for me?
    Quote Originally Posted by mrjimphelps View Post
    Keep in mind that there are two types of PDF documents -- one is an image of text, and the other is actual text. When you scan documents to PDF, you are almost certainly getting the "image" type of PDF document, because to get actual text, it would have to go through an OCR process.

    It's a lot more complicated to search through an image document than actual text. I suspect that this is where your problem lies.

    There are two scanning programs which may be of use here -- scannito and vuescan (?). They may be capable of scanning to text (i.e. they may have OCR capabilities built in). If so, then you will be able to do a text search through the PDF files, because they will have been converted to text during the scanning process.

    David E. Cann

  7. #6
    Silver Lounger mrjimphelps's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by decann View Post
    All I know is, I am scanning them using the option in my HP scanner software to scan them as searchable. This has been confirmed by sending a copy to a friend who had no difficulty at all searching it using Adobe ACROBAT 9, but neither he nor I can find any means of searching the same file using Adobe READER no matter what I try. This is why I am looking for some alternate software to do that. Do you know of any such software that will search a *.pdf file for me?
    I don't know of any search software, but as I mentioned, you might try approaching this from the other angle -- try using some other software to do the scanning. Perhaps your HP software is the culprit here. If so, some other scanning software may solve this for you.

    Tech Support Alert (www.techsupportalert.com) is a very good resource for free software. They may in fact know of some search software which would be just what you need.

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    You can try different readers, but it's not guaranteed that it will work. I prefer using Nitro Reader.
    Rui
    -------
    R4

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    Quote Originally Posted by decann View Post
    , but neither he nor I can find any means of searching the same file using Adobe READER no matter what I try.
    What does Edit, Find do?

    Bruce

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  11. #9
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    Culprit? WHAT culprit? I think not, not when it creates perfectly good searchable pdf that others can search, and so long as they don't use Adobe Reader. Thank you anyway for trying.
    Quote Originally Posted by mrjimphelps View Post
    I don't know of any search software, but as I mentioned, you might try approaching this from the other angle -- try using some other software to do the scanning. Perhaps your HP software is the culprit here. If so, some other scanning software may solve this for you.

    Tech Support Alert (www.techsupportalert.com) is a very good resource for free software. They may in fact know of some search software which would be just what you need.

    David E. Cann

  12. #10
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    Bruce, by golly I think that is it! I just tried it so I could answer your response and it brought up what looks strangely like a search field. I am going to try it and see what it does, but it looks like it just might be what I am looking for. Thank you very much.
    Quote Originally Posted by BruceR View Post
    What does Edit, Find do?

    Bruce

    David E. Cann

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    Also try Edit, Advanced Find. That's the one that can search through all the PDFs in a folder.

  14. #12
    Silver Lounger mrjimphelps's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by decann View Post
    Culprit? WHAT culprit? I think not, not when it creates perfectly good searchable pdf that others can search, and so long as they don't use Adobe Reader. Thank you anyway for trying.
    Maybe I should have said "Perhaps your HP software is what is causing you not to be able to search." No software is perfect, and I have found HP to have certain problems, such as it tends to be bloatware, and it likes to do things its own way rather than the standard way.

    I did use the word "perhaps". In other words, it MIGHT be what is causing the issue, but I wasn't sure. But it is worth at least considering.

    I've been doing software and hardware support since the 1980s. Throughout the many years in this business, I've come to learn that sometimes problems are caused from places you didn't expect and that didn't make logical sense.

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