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Question Recommendation for search desktop software?

skaertus

Member
Mar 20, 2010
199
23
81
I am in search of software to search specific content inside files on my computer. I have a library with 1,000+ books and articles in PDF format, and I would like a decent search engine to perform quick searches of specific content and display the results according to relevance.

As this is a somewhat significant library, I would like a search engine that indexes files (as even in my SSD a non-indexed search takes some time). In addition, I would like to use the software on more than one Windows computer (and, in the ideal world, on a Mac as well). Also, this is for personal use and I do not have unlimited budget.

I could use the Windows built-in search, but that does not help me find what I want, as it does not show results according to relevance. I do not want to manually search text inside 100+ resulting PDFs from each search I perform.

I am a little bit disappointed with what I found so far. The alternatives that I found so far are the following:

  • Archivarius: Good for searching, but the interface is not very good, and it does not seem to be updated very often.
  • DT Search: Good for searching, and it has a nice interface with support for PDF preview inside the program. But it is expensive at $199 for one license of up to two computers.
  • Copernic Desktop Search: The new version looks good, and the subscription is not expensive at $14.99 per year. But the license supports one computer only. And the free version is not an option as it does not have PDF support.
  • X1 Search: I have not yet tried this one, but it is expensive at over $90 for use in just one computer.
  • Doc Fetcher: This one is free, but it does not seem very good, and it does not support PDF preview.
  • Agent Ransack: Free, but it does not support index. Slow to perform searches, and inadequate.
  • Lookeen: This one is free for personal use. Is it worth trying?
Any suggestion? Thanks.
 

Asmodeus

Member
Jun 26, 2017
31
6
51
Thanks.

According to the description of Everything (https://www.voidtools.com/faq/), it is good to find files and folders, but it does not index the content of the files (although it searches for this content, but this is slow). Do you have experience in searching within the text inside PDF files?
Ah, I see what you're referring to now. No, I don't believe it does. I found a post that might be helpful - https://cybertext.wordpress.com/2018/01/17/search-inside-multiple-pdfs-at-once/

"I had to search for a word across multiple PDFs in a single folder, and didn’t know if there was a way to do that. Off to Google, where I found these excellent instructions: https://www.online-tech-tips.com/computer-tips/how-to-search-for-text-inside-multiple-pdf-files-at-once/.

In case these instructions ever disappear, here’s a short version of the steps:

1.Open any PDF in Adobe Reader or Adobe Acrobat.
2.Press Shift+Ctrl+F to open the Search panel.
3.Select the All PDF Documents in option.
4.Click the dropdown list arrow to show all drives. This is not an expandable list, so to specify a particular folder, select Browse for Location, navigate to and select the folder you want to search, then click OK.
5.Type the word or phrase to search.
6.Optional: Select any other search filter criteria (e.g. whole words only, case-sensitive). Note: At the bottom of the panel is a link to Show More Options if the filter criteria you want is not listed.
7.Click Search.

8.When the results are displayed, click on a result to open that PDF at the first instance of the word you searched for. Other instances within the same PDF are listed under the PDF location in the search results."
 

skaertus

Member
Mar 20, 2010
199
23
81
Ah, I see what you're referring to now. No, I don't believe it does. I found a post that might be helpful - https://cybertext.wordpress.com/2018/01/17/search-inside-multiple-pdfs-at-once/

"I had to search for a word across multiple PDFs in a single folder, and didn’t know if there was a way to do that. Off to Google, where I found these excellent instructions: https://www.online-tech-tips.com/computer-tips/how-to-search-for-text-inside-multiple-pdf-files-at-once/.

In case these instructions ever disappear, here’s a short version of the steps:

1.Open any PDF in Adobe Reader or Adobe Acrobat.
2.Press Shift+Ctrl+F to open the Search panel.
3.Select the All PDF Documents in option.
4.Click the dropdown list arrow to show all drives. This is not an expandable list, so to specify a particular folder, select Browse for Location, navigate to and select the folder you want to search, then click OK.
5.Type the word or phrase to search.
6.Optional: Select any other search filter criteria (e.g. whole words only, case-sensitive). Note: At the bottom of the panel is a link to Show More Options if the filter criteria you want is not listed.
7.Click Search.

8.When the results are displayed, click on a result to open that PDF at the first instance of the word you searched for. Other instances within the same PDF are listed under the PDF location in the search results."
Thanks.

I already tried this, but the problem is that Adobe Reader does not index the files, and, due to this, these searches take some time. In addition, Adobe Reader does not show results according to relevance, which is something important to me (as some terms may be present in hundreds or thousands of PDFs).

Any other recommendation?
 

ringtail

Senior member
Mar 10, 2012
978
7
81
I am in search of software to search specific content inside files on my computer. I have a library with 1,000+ books and articles in PDF format, and I would like a decent search engine to perform quick searches of specific content and display the results according to relevance.

As this is a somewhat significant library, I would like a search engine that indexes files (as even in my SSD a non-indexed search takes some time). In addition, I would like to use the software on more than one Windows computer (and, in the ideal world, on a Mac as well). Also, this is for personal use and I do not have unlimited budget.

I could use the Windows built-in search, but that does not help me find what I want, as it does not show results according to relevance. I do not want to manually search text inside 100+ resulting PDFs from each search I perform.

I am a little bit disappointed with what I found so far. The alternatives that I found so far are the following:

  • Archivarius: Good for searching, but the interface is not very good, and it does not seem to be updated very often.
  • DT Search: Good for searching, and it has a nice interface with support for PDF preview inside the program. But it is expensive at $199 for one license of up to two computers.
  • Copernic Desktop Search: The new version looks good, and the subscription is not expensive at $14.99 per year. But the license supports one computer only. And the free version is not an option as it does not have PDF support.
  • X1 Search: I have not yet tried this one, but it is expensive at over $90 for use in just one computer.
  • Doc Fetcher: This one is free, but it does not seem very good, and it does not support PDF preview.
  • Agent Ransack: Free, but it does not support index. Slow to perform searches, and inadequate.
  • Lookeen: This one is free for personal use. Is it worth trying?
Any suggestion? Thanks.
Agent Ransack
 

skaertus

Member
Mar 20, 2010
199
23
81
I tried Agent Ransack and the problem is that it does not have any indexing functionality.

For the time being, I am using DocFetcher, which is free, and a trial version of DT Search, which is good, although expensive.

And I also found a very specific piece of software aimed at academic use called Ref-N-Write, which performs searches in indexed libraries of PDFs from inside Microsoft Word. I found it very useful as well.
 

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