12 Replies Latest reply on Mar 1, 2016 10:56 AM by sharon27lily

    PDF files and searchability

    luviola10

      I'm on RH8. If one adds a pdf file into a project as a baggage file, can a user search info within the pdf or would the search only point to the pdf document?

        • 1. Re: PDF files and searchability
          sharon27lily

          I am also interested in searching of PDF files. I recently purchased a few licenses of RoboHelp 2015 version, and am being asked to create PDFs for multiple topics. Each topic would probably have details or words that I would want searchable. I believe I could do that through PDF Properties and metadata, but wonder if there are other ways that I can perform deeper searches into the PDF.

           

          Can anyone assist with this?

           

          sharon27lily

          • 2. Re: PDF files and searchability
            Captiv8r Adobe Community Professional & MVP

            Hi Sharon

             

            Wow, you found a post from 2012 that was never answered!

             

            I'm unsure exactly what you are asking here. The original post seems to ask if one adds a PDF document to RoboHelp if the RoboHelp search will find content inside the PDF. And the last few versions of RoboHelp DO allow for that.

             

            But your question seems the opposite. I'm guessing you are using RoboHelp to create PDF documents and you want to know if you do that, will the PDF Reader find the text inside the produced PDF. Am I understanding that correctly?

             

            I'm guessing it would work just fine. After all, the text exists as text inside RoboHelp.

             

            Cheers... Rick

            • 3. Re: PDF files and searchability
              Willam van Weelden Adobe Community Professional & MVP

              RoboHelp indexes PDF files so you can find them. Is that not what you are looking for?

              • 4. Re: PDF files and searchability
                sharon27lily Level 1

                Thank you both for responding.

                 

                I've just purchased RoboHelp 2015. It's beautiful.

                 

                I am being asked to create an Online Help system using PDFs and videos as links to content. This will initially be for use on desktop and tablets, and eventually will involve androids (BYOD: Bring Your Own Device), so I will be using the newer functionality of RoboHelp. Exciting!

                 

                I don't see a problem with creating the system, but I am concerned about the ability of the user to search content in the PDFs.

                 

                I have converted some Word docs into PDFs and tested them inside RoboHelp 2015, and have not yet seen the search function actually capture a word or phrase from the PDFs. Only the words in the title of the PDF appear searchable. Perhaps there is something specific I need to do in creating the PDF? .

                 

                Can you tell me what I should be doing to ensure the search functionality is as robust as possible? I am considering using Word documents instead, but I have concerns about security.

                 

                It will be very important to have the PDFs searchable, as it will be the source for most of the information about the portal we are creating.

                 

                I have also heard about indexing PDFs, to make searching faster--I wonder if that is something I should consider.

                 

                Any guidance you can provide would be greatly appreciated.

                 

                sharon27lily

                • 5. Re: PDF files and searchability
                  sharon27lily Level 1

                  Can someone address this issue for me? Is there something I am doing wrong that causes the PDF not to be searchable? Please advise.

                   

                  Sharon

                  • 6. Re: PDF files and searchability
                    Captiv8r Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                    Hi there

                     

                    When PDFs are created there are a lot of options that govern their creation. For example, I've encountered PDF documents that would appear to contain text, but that text was actually part of an image. Thus it wasn't searchable.

                     

                    Have you verified this aspect first?

                     

                    Cheers... Rick

                    • 7. Re: PDF files and searchability
                      Willam van Weelden Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                      Is the PDF tagged? I believe you need a tagged (accessible) PDF to make it searchable. I have tried a project with several PDF files and it seems to work fine.

                      • 8. Re: PDF files and searchability
                        sharon27lily Level 1

                        Rick, a PDF is a strange thing--it's almost like it is both text and graphic. All the text will be converted from a Word document. William, I'm not sure what you mean by tagged--can you point me to an article that explains what you mean? I have every intention of bookmarking sections of the PDFs (and there will be many) to put into the HTML5 responsive layout, but if I am to use the approach that has been requested of me, the PDFs must either be fully searchable, or I have to create an index for each PDF, which I have never done.

                         

                        Does this make sense?

                         

                        sharon27lily

                        • 9. Re: PDF files and searchability
                          sharon27lily Level 1

                          William, perhaps I just don't understand the terminology, but what do you mean by tagged?

                           

                          sharon27lily

                          • 10. Re: PDF files and searchability
                            Amebr Level 4

                            My understanding was that tagging was a kind of internal (admin) index within a PDF. I googled and found this page which says they are used for accessibility (screen readers etc), but I can imagine this information would also help with searching.

                            WebAIM: PDF Accessibility - Defining Acrobat PDF Accessibility

                             

                            And instructions for creating tagged PDFs with a few different applications.

                            WebAIM: PDF Accessibility - Converting Documents to PDF

                            • 11. Re: PDF files and searchability
                              sharon27lily Level 1

                              Thank you! I will test this out, but it seems like the answer to my problem. . .

                              • 12. Re: PDF files and searchability
                                sharon27lily Level 1

                                It seems to be working, to tag PDFs based on the two articles you mentioned. Thank you!

                                 

                                Sharon