The Power of PDF Search


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PDF Search (Adobe Acrobat/Reader) is a very powerful tool that is much neglected. This webinar will demonstrate how to use FrameMaker-to-Acrobat TimeSavers to maximize search across one or more documents, gives you tips on how to encourage your users to use Search (and not Find), and shows you how to create pre-defined search phrases and a customized search form.

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The Power of PDF Search

  1. 1. The Power of PDF Search(Adobe Acrobat/Reader)March 6, 2012Shlomo Perets,
  2. 2. 1 Before we start… ■ Webinar focus is features available for end-users with Adobe Reader ■ No discussion on how to automate features using specific authoring tools
  3. 3. 2 Find in current PDF ■ Basic options ● Whole words only ● Case sensitivity ● Include bookmarks ● Include comments
  4. 4. 3 Search current document ■ Additional options (show more options) ● Match Exact word or phrase ● Match Any of the words (separated with spaces, not commas) ● Stemming ● Attachments
  5. 5. 4 Search selected folder ■ Additional options ● Match All of the words (+Proximity) ● Boolean query ● Metadata (e.g. title, subject, keywords) ■ Document title (as defined in the PDF document properties) is displayed in Search Results ■ Can refine the search (=search within the previous results)
  6. 6. 5 Performance ■ Find / Search Document / Search Folders are slow ■ Performance can be improved through embedded indexes (Document Processing > Manage Embedded Index)
  7. 7. 6 Search selected index ■ Fast – pointers in a pre-built full-text index are used (actual text is not searched) PDX (Index of a collection of PDF files) ■ Powerful – has all options available ■ Only works with local file access and local networks, not in web environment
  8. 8. 7 Creating Full-Text Search index ■ Document Processing > Full Text Index with Catalog ■ PDX and its support folder are part of the document collection structure (maintain relative links)
  9. 9. 8 PDFs changed after indexing? ■ “The document has been modified since it was last cataloged. Some text may be missing or could highlight incorrectly.” (can choose not to show message again) ■ Acrobat Preferences, Catalog: Turn on “Do not warn for changed documents when searching” (restart Acrobat after changing preference)
  10. 10. 9 Single PDF vs. multiple PDFs Using books rather than chapters/topics as the basic units in the PDF document collection ■ Limits the usefulness of metadata (Title, Keywords etc.) ■ Reduces the usefulness of the relative weight of phrase being searched (number of instances vs. total number of words)
  11. 11. 10 Make Search more visible ■ Provide a Search bookmark, button ■ Custom search form (where search phrases may be saved) ■ Make pre-defined searches available
  12. 12. 11 Find/Search bookmarks ■ Bookmarks for both Find and Search to expose the different functionality: ● “Find in this PDF” ● “Search document collection” ■ Especially needed with Reader X, where the Search/Find icons and text box are not displayed by default
  13. 13. 12 Pre-defined search bookmarks Bookmarks with pre-defined search queries through Acrobat JavaScript (optional parameters, synonyms): ■ search.query("text phrase"); ■ search.query("text phrase", "ActiveDoc" ); ■ search.bookmarks=false; search.query("text phrase", "ActiveDoc" );}
  14. 14. 13 Search page action ■ A page action defined for the first page can open the Search panel automatically when the PDF is opened
  15. 15. 14 Popup menus ■ Variable pop-up menus help avoid overloading screen/page with links (e.g. “Related Searches”), entries can point to Acrobat Search with specific phrases
  16. 16. 15 Custom search forms ■ Users can benefit from predefined search phrases (Find/Search) or queries (Advanced Search) ■ Users can save their own search queries, with control over all search parameters (useful when repeatedly performing same/similar search operations)
  17. 17. 16 Reduce extra step for users ■ Attach the index to PDFs (but not with web-based PDFs) ■ Alternatively, can provide a bookmark or a link that “launches” the PDX file (an Acrobat security message is displayed)
  18. 18. 17 Provide “How To” & examples ■ Users are often not familiar with Search functionality ■ Include a page explaining how to use the Search function, with sample queries ■ Can include a bookmark/link to a movie showing an example
  19. 19. 18 Recommend user preferences ■ Preferences set locally by users affect Search functionality (vary depending on version) ● Always use advanced search options ● Range of words for Proximity searches ● Show document title in search results ■ Can create a bookmark or a link to the Preferences dialog box
  20. 20. 19 “Highlight phrases” option ■ Can support adding highlight annotations for specified search phrases (through Acrobat JavaScript) ■ Requires enabling the PDF for commenting