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bausi Level 1 Level 1 (10 points)

i have a strange problem: i have a document and when i open the pdf in preview the search results work. i copied the pdf to make notes and within this document the preview search and the spotlight search doesn't work?!

a very strange behavior - anybody facing the same?

macbook gen5 late 2008, Mac OS X (10.6.3), iPhone 3GS 32GB
  • merz bros Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    I'm having the same issue. If I open a pdf (say the manual for Logic), I can search the document just fine, but if I add any annotation and save the document, the search no longer works for the document. This is the case on 2 different macs, both running snow leopard.

    odd and kind of frustrating.
  • Mikofox Level 2 Level 2 (255 points)
    I have a few documents that show the same behavior.
    But I also noticed when I try to copy text from these pdfs I get some garbled text when pasting into Text Edit or any other word processor.
    In my case I think it has to do that these pdf were corrupted either when downloading or created with some software Preview or Adobe Reader can't deal with.
  • Mikofox Level 2 Level 2 (255 points)
    After some more testing I need to correct myself and say that it is the Annotate/Save process in Preview 5.0.2 that wrecks the Search function and causes the 'code' text when copied.
  • cj_cal Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    I have a similar issue. When I add a page from another PDF to an existing PDF, the search function ONLY works on the added page and it no longer works on any of the original pages. Very frustrating. I hope a solution can be found.
  • cj_cal Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    Actually, all I have to do is make a copy of a PDF and boom, search breaks in Apple Preview. So, I make a PDF (in this case, from a Windows 7 application that exports to PDF). I open it in Apple Preview, verify that search works. Then I do a File:Save As with a new name. Open the new copy, and boom, search no longer works. But note that if the PDF is created on my Mac (e.g. from Word) and then copied with a new name, then the search does not break.
  • Tosta Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    Same issue: Create PDF from OpenOffice, load in Preview – search works.
    Mark text and save file, or add Annotation and save file – search won't work any more. The characters seem to be converted in a weird way: Search for »a« finds »p«, search for »b« finds »3«, etc., but this changes from file to file. I also found the garbled text (as Mikofox above) when selecting some text and search for it (Cmd-E); the garbled text will be put into the search field. Strange enough. Any comment from Apple?
  • Tosta Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    Some more discoveries:

    Spotlight will not find the PDF file (saved by Preview) when searching for a phrase which is definitely in that file.

    Adobe Reader is showing the same search behavior: »a« finds »ö« this time, »b« finds »:«, etc.

    When saving, Preview seems to convert the file in some way, but PDF viewers like Preview and Adobe Reader display the converted content correctly.
  • Gregory Hendricks Level 1 Level 1 (100 points)
    I can confirm this same problem. Saved annotations break searching in Preview. I'm keeping a separate copy for annotations and another copy for searching (Logic Pro).
  • nwipfli Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    I've the same search issue although I can reproduce it in a different manner. I load in Preview a new document given by my bank. At this time I can search for keywords in this document. Then I "Save as" this document and save it into the desktop. Then when I open this document and searching with the same keywords does not return any results.

    I do not know how to fix this issue.
  • ob (mbp 2011) Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    Same problem. Happens after saving after having added certain annotations.

    But it does NOT happen after just any annotation. For example, I just had this problem with a pdf,
    so I downloaded a fresh copy and search was working. Then I used Preview to highlight a word, saved the file, and search continued to work. Not sure if that helps anyone on the diagnostic end, but figured it may be helpful.

    Preview is one of my favorite native Apple apps because of its speed, simplicity and built-in annotation tools. I'm really hoping this doesn't end with me having to start using Adobe Reader!

    Message was edited by: ob (mbp 2011)
  • ob (mbp 2011) Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    Highlight once & save: fine
    Highlight again after save (i.e., highlight-save-highlight-save): lose search functionality
  • ob (mbp 2011) Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    *Apologies for my multiple replies -- I'm new here and didn't know you can only edit a post in the first 15 minutes or so.


    This happens with some pdfs, but not all. I have a document that I've been re-opening and adding new annotation to for at least a week and can still search within it. Very strange.

    Example pdf that DOES create the problem:

    Example pdf that DOES NOT create the problem:
  • krisb78 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    Hi there,
    I'm having exactly the same problem:
    File originally created with Framemaker 7.2. Can search and copy / paste text no problem. If you check this file's document properties it says: PDF Producer - Acrobat Distiller 8.2.3 (Windows).

    If I then open this file in Preview and add some highlights and notes, I can then no longer search or copy / paste (it comes out garbled). The file's document properties now says: PDF Producer Mac OSX 10.6.7 Quartz PDF Context.

    This new file has the same search and copy / paste issue on both a mac with preview and a windows xp machine with acrobat reader.

    Any ideas?

    I've tried saving another file with preview and encountered no problems. However, this file has coloured highlights only. The files causing this problem have notes added to the highlights (the "stickies" that can be added to the side of the document beside the highlight).

    Message was edited by: krisb78

    Message was edited by: krisb78
  • anotherjohnny Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    Same problem here: the pdf's text is not readable by any other application after saving it with preview. Also the saving process takes an unusual long time and exhausts one cpu core. Preview is obviously working a lot on my file while saving (~400 pages, 35 MB) compared to what Adobe Reader does (much faster, much less cpu load).

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