Search pdf files for text
This article is about searching text in .pdf
files. It answers questions: what is PDF file, why should we use this
file format and what is the best way to search it for text.
What is PDF file?
A Portable Document Format (pdf) file is a cross-platform document.
It is a file that will look the same on the screen and in print,
regardless of what kind of computer or printer someone is using.
Document Format (PDF) was created to maintain the fidelity
of a document to its original while making it accessible on
the World Wide Web.
Read also: Searching
in Word (.doc) and Excel (.xls) documents
Why do I need to search in PDF files?
Just because it takes too much time to open each file and search
text in it with Adobe Acrobat search function.
Is there a native Window tool to search in
Unfortunately no. "Find file" in Windows cannot search
text within PDF files.
As you want to have a full access to all knowledgebase you have,
then you should use some special search utility with PDF search
support (such as FSA - you will read about it below).
What is the simplest solution to search in
We created File Search Assistant to make your search fast and
You should run File Search Assistant, put your search criteria and
click "Search" button.
*.pdf mask in "File Name" field. You will
tell FSA to search only for PDF files.
"Search in" drop list to specify location to
keywords you want to find in "Keyword" field.
- Use custom search options to create custom search
groups - it will make you search faster. Read
more in on-line manual.
- Using custom search options allows to skip step where
you specify search mask and path to search.
- You can use regular expressions as a keyword. For
example +dog -cat +"my cat"
OK. Now tell me how can your FSA be more
effective that other search tools.
Three key features makes FSA extremely useful:
Custom Search Options - you can
point FSA to folders where your files are and where exactly you want
to search in. Once you have created a search group you can use it for
every other search.
Preview Pane - Preview pane show you
the small piece of file where keyword (or keywords if you search for
som regular expression) was found. Specify your search criteria and
click "search" button to learn how it works.
shows you the small piece of file where keyword (or keywords
if you search for som regular expression) was found.
highlights found keyword(s) so you can decide whether you
need this very file. If not - click "Next File"
button. If you not sure - click "Next Fragment"
button to show next text fragment with found keyword(s)
Any time you can generate search report from search results and
make use of them later.
FSA puts in search report:
- text from found files with highlighted keywords;
- information about found files - size, path and relevancy to
- link to found file so you can open it right from search report;
Tell me more about searching in PDF files
Depends on what computer you are using now. You can download FSA
and try for free.
it will find ANY text in PDF file?
Almost in all cases FSA
will do it's job, unless PDF file consists of pictures with text.
I use FSA to search in PDF as a binary file?
Anytime you can turn
off "pdf to txt" filter. Then FSA will read PDF as a binary
my PDF file is in ZIP archive, can FSA find text in it?
Yes, you just should
check "search in zip files" checkbox.
it find PDF which is on network disk?
Yes FSA can search
files on both local and network disks.
Get File Search Assistant
You can get File Search Assistant right now. It's a file search
tool that allows to search for popular file types on local hard disk
and across a network.