Indexing PDFs

Discussion in 'Misc' started by Robert Peirce, Nov 3, 2011.

  1. I posted this question a while ago but got no response. I used to use
    an early version of Acrobat to index PDFs. It doesn't run under Lion
    and I don't want to spend the money for a current version of Acrobat
    just to do indexing. Is there another way, preferably free or not too
    much money, to do this?
    Robert Peirce, Nov 3, 2011
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  2. Robert Peirce

    Your Name Guest

    One way would be to create a separate partition and re-install your older
    version of Mac OS X. You can then reboot into the other operating system
    when you need the older version of Acrobat.
    Your Name, Nov 4, 2011
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  3. Thanks, but that really isn't an option. I am looking for something
    that can run under Lion. I may have to buy a new version of Adobe
    Acrobat, but I hate to do that just for indexing.
    Robert Peirce, Nov 4, 2011
  4. Robert Peirce

    Chris Ridd Guest

    OS X seems to do quite well searching through PDFs on the fly, or maybe
    it uses Spotlight internally. So maybe you don't need anything?

    I also collect a lot of related PDFs in DEVONthink databases. That
    *does* seem to index PDFs, so that might be an option.
    Chris Ridd, Nov 4, 2011
  5. Robert Peirce

    Suze Guest

    See "Yep". Mac App Store. $20.
    Suze, Nov 4, 2011
  6. Robert Peirce, Nov 5, 2011
  7. I tried a simple search in spotlight. It ran quite a while but in the
    end did not find the documents.
    I checked this. Apparently it wants to store everything in one place.
    That's no good for me because I keep groups of documents in various
    location and I want to index the groups individually. Actually most of
    my indexing is in sets of periodicals I have downloaded. I want to be
    able to just search the specific periodicals.

    I just checked the adobe site and it isn't even clear if acrobat will
    run on 10.7. Alternatives aren't looking very good so I may have to
    bite the bullit give this a try.
    Robert Peirce, Nov 5, 2011
  8. Robert Peirce

    Chris Ridd Guest

    No, it can work 2 ways. One is File>Import, which copies (moves?) the
    files into its database (which is just a folder, you can open it in
    Finder using right-click>Show package contents) and the other way is
    File>Index, which leaves the files in-situ.

    The problem I found with File>Index is that a normal spotlight search
    will keep finding the docs you've got in DEVONthink. That may not be a
    problem in your case!
    DEVONthink's a powerful tool. My use of it is quite crude, just a place
    to shovel a bunch of PDFs and then search them in a group. It works
    well for that. The DEVON folks are helpful so give them a shout first.
    I think their stuff's in the app store too.
    Chris Ridd, Nov 5, 2011
  9. For the hell of it I tried a Finder search on a directory that contained
    77 issues of a periodical. I restricted the search to that directory,
    and although there is no way to know if I got them all, I did find a lot
    of references and I found them really fast. I then had to open the
    periodical in preview and search again but it worked and was completely
    satisfactory for my needs.

    At least for what I am trying to do, acrobat and other formal indexing
    approaches do not seem to be required. As the saying goes, It just
    Robert Peirce, Nov 5, 2011
  10. Robert Peirce

    Chris Ridd Guest

    Doesn't Spotlight only index the first few kilobytes of PDF files? I
    could understand it not working well for some people if so.
    Chris Ridd, Nov 5, 2011
  11. Robert Peirce

    Your Name Guest

    You can also restrict Spotlight to look just for PDFs as one of the criteria.
    Your Name, Nov 6, 2011
  12. I don't think so. I tested with a phrase that appeared only at the end
    of a 16.2 Mb publication and found it. This was in Lion. I never tried
    it in earlier releases of OS X. BTW, it found it almost instantly,
    probably because of the indexing. I have to admit I never tried this
    before but it sure works nice.
    Robert Peirce, Nov 6, 2011
  13. I have found a gotcha which I asked about in the apps group. Spotlight
    seems only to search for words that BEGIN with the character string. I
    sometimes need to search for words that contain the character string.
    As I recall, perhaps incorrectly, acrobat could do this. Is there any
    way to make Spotlight do it? If so, it would answer every need I can
    think of.
    Robert Peirce, Nov 6, 2011
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