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How do I search the text in a PDF document?

  • Knowledge Base Article: KB343
  • Created On: Oct 3, 2011 03:44 PM
  • Last Modified: : Sep 26, 2017 09:39 AM
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Question:

How do I search the text in a PDF document?

Answer:

There are two options that can be used to search the text in PDF documents: they are the Find and Search functions.

Find

1. Click Edit in the Menu Toolbar, then click Find in the submenu (or press Crtl+F) to enable the Find function. The Find function box will open.

2. Enter search terms in the text box and press enter to search the active document. Text that matches the search terms will be highlighted:

Additional options are available in the Find function:

  • Click the red 'x' icon to reset the search.
  • Use the dropdown arrow on the left to browse/select previous search terms.
  • Use the dropdown arrow on the right to enable/disable additional search parameters:

  • Use the left and right arrows to move between search results in the active document.
  • Click the grey 'x' icon to close the Find function.

Search

1. Click Edit in the Menu Toolbar, and then click Search in the submenu to enable the Search function. The Search pane will open:

  • Enter the search terms in the upper text box or select Advanced Criterion (detailed below).
  • Use the lower text box to select where the search will take place:

- In active document searches only the active document.

- In all opened documents searches all documents currently open in PDF-XChange Editor.

- Browse for Folder launches the Select Folder dialog box, from where it is possible to select a folder to search.

  • Click the Options button to determine further search variables. These are explained below.

2. Click the Search button to execute the search. The results will be shown in the lower pane.

When the Advanced Criterion option is selected, the following pane is displayed:

  • Use the arrow on the right side of the Custom text box to select a predefined search. If no searches have been predefined then the Custom option is not available.
  • Use the three Find text with: text boxes to determine the search parameters:

- If search terms are entered in the all of these words text box, then the results will include only text strings that contain all the entered search terms.

- If search terms are entered in the any of these words text box, then the results will include text strings that contain any of the entered search terms.

- If search terms are entered in the none of these words text box, then the results will exclude text strings that contain any of the entered search terms.

Click the Options button to view/select further search variables:

  • Select Case Sensitive to include the case of search terms in the search.
  • Select Whole Words to return only whole words.
  • Select Ignore Diacritics to ignore accents, cedillas and other similar symbols in the search.
  • Select Include Page Text to include text on pages of the document in the search.
  • Select Include Bookmarks to include bookmark names in the search.
  • Select Include Comments to include comment text in the search.
  • Select Form Fields to include form field text in the search.
  • Select Include External Links to include links to external locations/files in the search.
  • Select Include Attachments to include embedded documents in the search.
  • Select Include Document Info to include document metadata/information in the search.
  • Select Pre-Estimate Search in Folder to have PDF-XChange Editor perform a folder count prior to the search. This facilitates the correct search progress in the progress bar when searches take place.
  • Select Look in Sub-Folders to include all directory subfolders in the search.
  • Select Proximity to determine the proximity of returned results. The options are:

- Only Adjacent Words.

- Words from the Same Paragraph.

- Words from the Same Page.

- Words from the Same Document.

  • Select Colored Search Results to highlight matching terms after the search has taken place.
  • Select Annotate Search Results for annotation options after the search has taken place. The options are:

- Highlight Search Results.

- Underline Search Results.

- Strikeout Search Results.

- Redaction Search Results.

- Additionally, click Comment Styles Palette to launch the Comment Styles Palette for further annotation options. Further information on this feature is available here.

  • Select Clear Results to the clear the search results list.

Please note that the Find and Search functions can be used to search only text-based content of documents. These functions will not identify image-based text, such as scanned content. Optical character recognition (OCR) should be used to create a searchable text layer in those cases. Further information on OCR, and how to perform it in PDF-XChange Editor, is available here.

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