Searching inside PDFs - single use, not Library-wide?

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Cassady
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Searching inside PDFs - single use, not Library-wide?

Post by Cassady »

Hi Jon,

Congrats with the 12.2 update - it's a biggie!
Had a twirl through some of the features, PDF annotation is great, and I could see how the PDF notes <> Note Stream link, can be very useful!

A very welcome addition is the Search Inside PDF's. It appears to work well.
Having said that -- please confirm the following -- you can only search through the individual, active pdf, by using the search bar underneath the Reference list, is that correct?
There is no means to search through your library, for occurrences of XYZ within the text of all the PDFs?

Jon
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Re: Searching inside PDFs - single use, not Library-wide?

Post by Jon »

Thanks.

The ability to search all attached pdfs has been there for years (the pdfs must be in the default attachments folder, or a subfolder). Use either Find -> Spotlight, or the Live Search -> Spotlight options.

Jon
Sonny Software

Cassady
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Re: Searching inside PDFs - single use, not Library-wide?

Post by Cassady »

Jon wrote:Thanks.

The ability to search all attached pdfs has been there for years (the pdfs must be in the default attachments folder, or a subfolder). Use either Find -> Spotlight, or the Live Search -> Spotlight options.

Jon
Sonny Software
Thanks Jon,

The Spotlight search does indeed identify pdf's that have the particular term within them, but does not highlight the term, or allow for the Cmd+G option, to jump through instances of that term per PDF - or am I missing something?

I get that they are in fact separate methods - I just wanted to be sure that the 'new' search functionality is limited to the active pdf -- it's not possible to achieve the same functionality across a group of PDFs?

Jon
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Re: Searching inside PDFs - single use, not Library-wide?

Post by Jon »

That's right. You can't search for text and highlight that text in a pdf that's not showing. Frankly, I can't imagine how that would work with an application like Bookends. You'd need to open many pdfs simultaneously, each in its own window, which doesn't fit with the reference-centric Bookends metaphor.

Jon
Sonny Software

ZC1ifi
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Re: Searching inside PDFs - single use, not Library-wide?

Post by ZC1ifi »

We may be asking too much of Bookends in this respect. The more pdfs one collects the more important decent access to them becomes. Although I am on a Mac and thus have Spotlight this is really not good enough. Not only does it not give me direct access to all the hits, it also cannot handle proximity searches (find X near Y) which I find one of the most crucial types of searches when doing research. Unless Bookends can transform itself into a veritable document manager as well as a reference manager it is better to separate both functions.

Jasso
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Re: Searching inside PDFs - single use, not Library-wide?

Post by Jasso »

This is related tip, although slightly off-topic. Here's a method on doing "power searches" with your attachments. :D

Most times I'm okay with first doing a basic search on Bookends and then searching in Preview. But in some cases, especially when the term I'm looking for is used for different meanings, I need to know in what context the term appears. So I do this:

1. Perform searches on Bookends. I find it good to do consecutive searches so I get the results down to, say, a few dozen. (I.e., first do global search, the perform new searches on the hit list, narrowing it down each time.)

2. Export all the attachments of these hits to a temporary folder somewhere like desktop. (File --> Export Attachments)

3. Now you can open several them to Preview at the same time. I guess the number depends on how large the files are. Usually I can open about 5–10 pdfs at the same time. Search for your term, and preview will show you the context where it appears in each file (in the sidebar):
powersearch.png
powersearch.png (43.36 KiB) Viewed 3155 times
4. Extract needed info, trash the temp folder with extra copies of attachments. Or hold on to them for the duration of your project, in case you need to search other things, and don't want to start the procedure all over.

terrydev
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Re: Searching inside PDFs - single use, not Library-wide?

Post by terrydev »

Not only does it not give me direct access to all the hits, it also cannot handle proximity searches (find X near Y) which I find one of the most crucial types of searches when doing research.
DevonTHINK does this. Search a Library, multiple Libraries or just one part of a Library and it will offer the documents ranked in order, plus the search term highlighted in each use within each document, and you can move from hit to hit using command-g.

It also does proximity searches, offers a concordance for each document/group/library.

I use both Bookends and DTP every day.

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