Searching PDFs on a Web site

Subject: Searching PDFs on a Web site
From: Darren Barefoot <dbarefoot -at- mpsbc -dot- com>
To: "'techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com'" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Fri, 8 Oct 1999 12:28:42 -0700

Good afternoon,

Today's conundrum goes like this:

We have a grown number of technical bulletins on our external Web site.
These technical bulletins are in a variety of subjects in PDF format.
Currently, they're in one big long page (they're at
http://www.mps.com/supportlink/spt-bulletins.html) and, in an ideal world, I
like to provide the user with a search field on a Web page which would allow
them to perform a full text search through all of the PDF files. They might
type "Report Manager" and the site would return all of the PDF files that
contain "Report Manager" in them. I know this is possible, but I'm wondering
if anybody knows of any shortcuts that don't involve a bunch of custom
coding? Has anybody encountered this particular circumstance before?

Another alternative, which I haven't explored as of yet. Would be to somehow
(either ahead of time or on the fly) have the PDFs concatenate themselves
into one big PDF, and then users could do a search that way. That's not a
particularly elegant solution, though.

I know that the easiest but quite intensive solution would be to convert the
Word files used to generate the PDFs into HTML, and then include the PDF as
a printable version. That, sadly, would be cause for both a lot of work up
front and more maintenance down the road. Any thoughts or suggestions are
welcome. Thanks. DB.

Darren Barefoot
Meridian Project Systems
Technical Content Developer
604-904-0822 ext. 112
dbarefoot -at- mpsbc -dot- com
www.mps.com

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