PDA

View Full Version : PDF Search/Index




skaertus
May 16, 2012, 07:54 PM
I have bought a new iPad on Saturday and I found it to be a great piece of hardware. I've already installed several apps and I'm in search of something a little more specific for handling PDF files.

I have a library of 500+ journal articles in PDF. Each of them is several pages in lenght (some of them have more than 100 pages) and the text is searchable (I've OCRed them all).

Now I would like an app to search the text inside all of these files. In an ideal world, I would like an app that could index all these PDFs and return the results of any search within seconds. But an app which is able to perform a search of the full text of this library of PDFs will do.

I currently have Papers for iPad installed, but it cannot search within the text of my papers (only the desktop version, for Mac, is able to do that).

It seems to me that apps such as iAnnotate, PDF Expert and DevonThink To Go might have the features I need. But are they powerful enough to handle a full-text search of a 500+ PDFs library? Which would be the best for this purpose?

Thank you in advance.



palpatine
May 16, 2012, 10:16 PM
hi. i am in the same boat: scanned books, journal articles, etc. all ocr'd.

iannotate does a great job with english language searches, and seems to have no problem indexing several hundred files.

asian languages don't seem to be as easily searched, and it is often unable to find things. it does ok, but i don't think it is completely reliable.

iannotate has the most features of any pdf reader i have used, and it renders pages faster in my informal tests. i highly recommend it.

epicmar
May 16, 2012, 10:20 PM
I have over 1500 PDF files in iAnnotate and find the search function to be very responsive. I don't think I have any files over 300 pages and most are probably in the 10-30 page range. It is a very capable PDF reader/annotation app.

SYale
May 16, 2012, 10:35 PM
I love PDF Expert. 5/5 from me.

palpatine
May 16, 2012, 10:39 PM
I love PDF Expert. 5/5 from me.

you might like it, but as faras i know, it doesn't do what the op asked.

thunderbunny
May 17, 2012, 01:50 AM
Have a look at evernote - attachments are sent for text recognition on their servers and so become searchable through the app

skaertus
May 17, 2012, 07:34 AM
Thank you for your prompt response!

It seems like iAnnotate can handle the job well. Does it highlight the search results?

----------

I love PDF Expert. 5/5 from me.

Can PDF Expert search text inside a full library of PDF files?

----------

Have a look at evernote - attachments are sent for text recognition on their servers and so become searchable through the app

I do have Evernote. However, my needs far exceed the capabilities of the free version. And I am not paying 45 dollars a year for the premium version.

epicmar
May 17, 2012, 11:45 AM
Thank you for your prompt response!

It seems like iAnnotate can handle the job well. Does it highlight the search results?

----------



Can PDF Expert search text inside a full library of PDF files?

----------



I do have Evernote. However, my needs far exceed the capabilities of the free version. And I am not paying 45 dollars a year for the premium version.
iAnnotate gives you a list of the files that contain your search term, you tap on a file in the list, it opens the file and gives you an index of the search hits on the left side of the screen with a little of the text before and after the search term and the page number, if you tap on one of the results it displays that page with the search term highlighted in yellow (actually a yellow translucent border around the term). Hope that helps.

mrrish
May 17, 2012, 12:58 PM
you might like it, but as faras i know, it doesn't do what the op asked.

PDF Expert does in fact search inside PDF files (been there few months now). You can choose to search by title or inside of document. I am in a similar boat as the op, having hundreds of PDFs, each being 40-50 pages in length. It seems to index whenever the app is open and in the background. If you click on a search result, it opens the PDF and you just need to tap the search icon to jump to the first mention of that search term.

I have no clue how iAnnotate became so popular, but seems like everybody uses it. I have tried it. It has the ugly and non-intuitive interface. Also, annotations are not as compatible with adobe acrobat or mac preview. And syncing is a pain. But that's just my opinion.

Correction: I have 1500 documents in my library. No problem!

palpatine
May 18, 2012, 09:25 PM
PDF Expert does in fact search inside PDF files (been there few months now). You can choose to search by title or inside of document. I am in a similar boat as the op, having hundreds of PDFs, each being 40-50 pages in length. It seems to index whenever the app is open and in the background. If you click on a search result, it opens the PDF and you just need to tap the search icon to jump to the first mention of that search term.

I have no clue how iAnnotate became so popular, but seems like everybody uses it. I have tried it. It has the ugly and non-intuitive interface. Also, annotations are not as compatible with adobe acrobat or mac preview. And syncing is a pain. But that's just my opinion.

Correction: I have 1500 documents in my library. No problem!

thank you for correcting me. it looks like i was pressing the button wrong (white apparently means it is unselected).

as for iannotate, it is faster to render pages (in my informal tests) and has more annotation options. i prefer it, even thought he ui is a little cluttered. my favorite thing with pdf expert is that it remembers my annotation font settings -- simple, but important when writing comments on a bunch of pdfs over the course of several days.

i will experiment some more with pdf expert. iannotate has trouble consistently finding asian language text with searches, and it would be great if pdf expert could do this for me.

epicmar
May 18, 2012, 09:34 PM
thank you for correcting me. it looks like i was pressing the button wrong (white apparently means it is unselected).

as for iannotate, it is faster to render pages (in my informal tests) and has more annotation options. i prefer it, even thought he ui is a little cluttered. my favorite thing with pdf expert is that it remembers my annotation font settings -- simple, but important when writing comments on a bunch of pdfs over the course of several days.

i will experiment some more with pdf expert. iannotate has trouble consistently finding asian language text with searches, and it would be great if pdf expert could do this for me.

Can you comment on how the handwriting annotation of iAnnotate, PDF Expert, and GoodReader compare to each other? I have iAnnotate and GoodReader and find that since GoodReader added zoomed in handwriting, it is significantly better than iAnnotate. I don't have PDF Expert so I am most interested in what you think of it compared to the others. One negative of both iAnnotate and GoodReader is that as soon as you finalize/save what you are writing you can't erase a portion of it like you can with notetaking apps - you can only delete everything you just wrote. Is that how PDF Expert works?

skaertus
May 19, 2012, 11:09 AM
I've bought PDF Expert and it indeeds searches inside PDF files. I found its interface to be much better than iAnnotate's. However, I also feel that PDFs might load a little faster in PDF Expert. In addition, I didn't find much options to search inside files. May I use modifiers in my search (" ", and, or)?

I may well buy iAnnotate to see how it handles my stuff. Does iAnnotate index files as well?

palpatine
May 19, 2012, 09:38 PM
Can you comment on how the handwriting annotation of iAnnotate, PDF Expert, and GoodReader compare to each other? I have iAnnotate and GoodReader and find that since GoodReader added zoomed in handwriting, it is significantly better than iAnnotate. I don't have PDF Expert so I am most interested in what you think of it compared to the others. One negative of both iAnnotate and GoodReader is that as soon as you finalize/save what you are writing you can't erase a portion of it like you can with notetaking apps - you can only delete everything you just wrote. Is that how PDF Expert works?

hi. i don't do a lot of handwriting in my annotations, so i cannot say. if i have some time, i will give it a try in each app.

[EDIT:] pdf expert has the ability to zoom, though i don't find it quite as smooth as goodreader. pdf expert seems to allow you to go back and erase something you wrote, though I cannot seem to get very fine control over this. iannotate, as you said, lacks a zoom feature.

overall, i prefer iannotate. it searches more accurately for asian characters, though admittedly, few people on this forum will need that, and it should be said that nothing seems to do as well as my mac. if i did a lot of annotating of my documents by typing in notes, then i would use pdf expert (remembers settings well), and if i did it by hand, i'd use goodreader.

rockgalmusic
May 22, 2012, 06:24 AM
Hi everyone, I tried the other solutions suggested above but the best one I liked when I searched on the iTunes store is WritePDF by EuroSmartz. I find that this is easy to use and is really useful for viewing and editing my PDFs on my iPad