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Old 26. Aug 2009, 02:20 PM   #11 (permalink)
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I had tried finding out words within pdf documents using AstroGrep, but as FrankO points out, it was inconsistent. I just knew that the grep softwares can find text within files, so I suggested them as an option. Did not go into much details. Thanks for Jojoyee to point out that pdf files are not supported yet with AstroGrep. Maybe other grep softwares do, I have not tried them.
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Old 27. Aug 2009, 02:31 AM   #12 (permalink)
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I use Copernic to search in PDF's.
It does a really nice job and even shows previews of the files with highlighted text.
The "home" version is free.
PDF-Xchange Viewer is the top freeware alternative to Adobe Reader and it will also search in folders for pdf files that contain search terms.
But the search options are not obvious to find.
This user-written article describes how to do it.
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Old 27. Aug 2009, 05:07 AM   #13 (permalink)
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Thanks PE for the leads.
PDF-Xchange Viewer does the job well.
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Old 27. Aug 2009, 07:01 AM   #14 (permalink)
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Ah perfect. Thanks PsychEroc! PDF-XChange Viewer works really well.
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Old 27. Aug 2009, 10:19 AM   #15 (permalink)
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Default Adobe Reader 9

I recently downloaded the latest version Adobe Reader 9 ("AR9").
After checking, it also has a Full Reader Search and the search speed seems to be faster.

On the same searching term, this is my test result:

First search result obtained in 30 secs (AR9), 52 secs (XChange Viewer).
Completed search in folders in 36 secs (AR9), 71 secs (XChange Viewer).

AR9 has a "save as text" function, and supports slide-show. XChange doesn't have. AR9 page displays seem clearer. Of course, it lacks some other useful features in XChange Viewer.

At TSA, we have a review of BF "Non-Adobe" PDF Reader. Not sure if we're still "sick to death of Adobe's slow, bloated PDF Reader"
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Old 27. Aug 2009, 10:58 AM   #16 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jojoyee View Post
I recently downloaded the latest version Adobe Reader 9 ("AR9").
After checking, it also has a Full Reader Search and the search speed seems to be faster.
Good work finding this!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jojoyee View Post
At TSA, we have a review of BF "Non-Adobe" PDF Reader. Not sure if we're still "sick to death of Adobe's slow, bloated PDF Reader"
Yes, I disagree with this title. I am of the opinion that if Adobe Reader is free and better than one of those tested in that article, then it should be there. I Don't see the sense in excluding software purely on its origins. It should only be excluded if it does not perform its function as well as three or four others.
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Old 27. Aug 2009, 11:26 AM   #17 (permalink)
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Wow, just tested it in one of my research folders. Adobe Reader found many more instances.

PDF XChange: 29 Documents - 142 Entries
Adobe Reader: 72 Documents - 336 Entries

I'll stick to Adobe.
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Old 21. Oct 2009, 08:42 AM   #18 (permalink)
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Default Adobe 9... the preferred choice.

I investigated this very topic a few months ago... tested every search mechanism I could lay my hands on... pdf-Xchange, InformSearch, Adobe, and many others.

Most of the GUIs for such software have been poorly developed and are not a pleasure to use. None of the programs displayed the results in the way I invisioned they should. Ultimately, I settled on Adobe Reader 9 over Pdf-Xchange. I am an Adobe Professional user, but of an older version. In the past, I could never get the search indexes to work well (as opposed to running a search through the entire directory of pdf files each time). But, the Adobe Reader 9 search is fast enough that I don't need to waste time and space creating indexes. I definitely agree that it's the best available choice at the moment.
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Old 02. Dec 2009, 04:15 PM   #19 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FrankO View Post
I abandoned Windows Grep, I don't like the interface. Both AstroGrep and dnGREP do find text in PDF files, but not very consistently. I would also like to know if there is something better out there.

Google Desktop Search would work, right? I just don't want to install that. I would prefer something more along the lines of the GREP software.

My other problem is that many of the articles I have saved are scans of documents. No search program is going to help me there

I should have used something like Zotero to keep my stuff organised from the start.
The latest version of dnGREP supports grep inside PDF files (as well as grep inside MS Word and archives) via plug-in.
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Old 02. Jan 2010, 03:25 AM   #20 (permalink)
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I just tested the latest versions of Adobe Reader (9.2.0) and PDF-XChange Viewer (2.0 build 4210).
In a folder containing 281 pdf files, both programs found 197 documents with the word "stress" in them. Both programs listed the documents and each of the instances in the results (See pic below). PDF-XChange found 17 more instances, but that's pretty negligible out of the 7k+ total instances.
But the most impressive thing was that PDF-XChange took about a minute to perform the search, whereas Adobe Reader took more than twice that time. Adobe, on the other hand, appears to have more search options.

But if you are doing a lot of pdf searches, I'd suggest using Copernic, which indexes the files in the background. After indexing, it took about a second for it to find 195 matching documents (not sure where the other 2 went). It will preview each document and highlight all the instances, however it does not itemize the instances or show you snippets as do the other two. Finally, I like how it will close the preview document automatically when you select another document to preview, unlike the other two programs.

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