Re: Search Engines and PDF Files

Subject: Re: Search Engines and PDF Files
From: Max Wyss <prodok -at- prodok -dot- ch>
To: "Becky Roberts" <becky_bee -at- hotmail -dot- com>
Date: Sun, 8 Oct 2000 10:19:42 +0200


you will have to make a difference between the two server environments you will be using (file server environment for CD-ROM, harddisk, mounted volumes etc.; web server environment for Intranet and Internet (using http protocols)).

The following comments count mainly for distributions of the documents in PDF format (I don't know and care much anymore about the RoboHelp format).

In the file server environment, you have the indexer tool already received with your Acrobat full version. I am speaking of Catalog, which is used to create the indexes for groups of documents. For using these indexes, your user must have the Search plug-in installed (which is standard for the full Acrobat versions and also for the Reader (unless someone is too cheap and downloads only the crippled (without Search) Reader instead of the (somewhat bigger) Reader+Search)). As you distribute the documents on CD, this is no problem, as you then can provide the right version of Reader.

For creating these indexes, you start Catalog, specify the index and its parameters (name of index, description, folders to process, folders to exclude, etc.) and then let Catalog do its work. This should be pretty simple and straightforward.

In the webserver environment, on the other hand, you will need an indexer and search engine which does support PDF. There are a few around, from very expensive, but powerful (such as the Verity search engine ... which is also used by Acrobat Catalog, BTW), to open source, and still useful. If you have a MessyNT server, Adobe provides even a free add-on for IIS 4 which provides this capability. You may find an overview over search engines which handle PDF on PlanetPDF ( Note that the search engine is _server_ based. This will affect your choice.

Hope, this can help.

Max Wyss
PRODOK Engineering
Low Paper workflows, Smart documents, PDF forms
CH-8906 Bonstetten, Switzerland

Fax: +41 1 700 20 37
e-mail: mailto:prodok -at- prodok -dot- ch

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Anybody out there using a search tool that they like to search within a documentation set delivered online and on CD ROM? I have a rather large doc set, all in either PDF or in RoboHelp and need cross document search capability. Thanks for any tips on what to look at or info on what works for you.

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