10 Replies Latest reply: Dec 13, 2012 10:49 AM by Linc Davis
leslie WS Level 1 Level 1

In the last couple months, I've noticed that Preview is unable to search some (but not all) pdfs. These are clearly digitized journal articles, recently published. Since this didn't make sense to me, I opened the documents with Adobe Reader and found they were searchable using Adobe.

What is going on? I'd prefer to use Preview, since I'd always preferred its search function and like its annotation tools (specifically, the box outline tool I use to identify chunks of text). Should I just give up on Preview and switch to Adobe?


iMac, Mac OS X (10.7.2), MS Office 2011
  • Eric Root Level 9 Level 9
    expertise.macosx
    Mac OS X

    Check the threads in the "More Like This" box. Is this mainly happening when using Safari, which is what some others have experienced? Adobe apparently installs some plug-ins in Safari which need to be removed.

  • Linc Davis Level 10 Level 10
    expertise.desktops
    Desktops

    Please link to an example, if possible.

  • Eric Root Level 9 Level 9
    expertise.macosx
    Mac OS X
  • Linc Davis Level 10 Level 10
    expertise.desktops
    Desktops

    I was asking the OP for an example of a PDF that isn't searchable in Preview.

  • leslie WS Level 1 Level 1

    Download the first guideline available on this page, Clinical Practice Guidelines for Hypothyroidism:

    https://www.aace.com/publications/guidelines

     

    I saved a copy of that document to my iMac and find it is not searchable with Preview, only with Adobe.

    I only use Safari as my browser, so have no experience if other browsers deliver better results.

     

    I do not understand what Eric Root is suggesting with his links -- or if Adobe removing plug-ins will disable Adobe Reader. I occaisionally need to use Adobe Reader, esp the comment tool -- working with others who use Windows platforms, exchanging comments back and forth on pdfs using Adobe Reader comments functions.

    I appreciate any help you can offer.

  • Linc Davis Level 10 Level 10
    expertise.desktops
    Desktops

    I can search that document in both Safari and Preview.

     

    Back up all data.

     

    In the Finder, select Go Go to Folder from the menu bar, or press the key combination shift-command-G. Copy the line of text below into the box that opens, and press return:

     

    /Library/Internet Plug-ins

     

    From the folder that opens, remove any items that have the letters “PDF” in the name. You may be prompted for your login password. Then quit and relaunch Safari, and test.

     

    If you still have the issue, repeat with this line:

     

    ~/Library/Internet Plug-ins

     

    If you don’t like the results of this procedure, restore the items from the backup you made before you started. Relaunch Safari again.

  • leslie WS Level 1 Level 1

    Does this remove Adobe Reader? If so, is that the only way to fix this problem?

  • Linc Davis Level 10 Level 10
    expertise.desktops
    Desktops

    No, it doesn't remove Reader, but PDF's linked from a web page will open in the built-in viewer instead of in Adobe's viewer, which is notoriously lousy. If you want to open documents in Reader, save them to a file.

  • leslie WS Level 1 Level 1

    Thank you, but it helped only a bit.

    I did as you suggested, then re-downloaded the document (same I directed you to). It worked at first, then sporadically, then stopped functioning. Did verify that the plug ins are still gone, trash is empty.

    Search works on some but not other pdfs of scientific journal articles sent to me by an article search service. These required paid access -- I cannot re-download for free, though I downloaded them before I got rid of the Adobe plug ins. The problem is adding a lot of time and annoyance to my day -- I use these articles to support the information I write, and search is a critical time-saver.

  • Linc Davis Level 10 Level 10
    expertise.desktops
    Desktops

    It worked at first, then sporadically, then stopped functioning.

     

    Do you mean you were able to search a downloaded copy of the document at first, and later you couldn't search that same copy? If so, in what application were you opening it? Or were you downloading other documents?

     

    The problem is adding a lot of time and annoyance to my day

     

    Resolving software conflicts can sometimes be very difficult and takes a lot of patience. If you want a shortcut, I can give you the standard Apple Support solution for all problems: Erase your boot drive, reinstall OS X, don't reinstall any third-party software, and restore your documents from a backup.