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Question: Text search in PDF (Preview/High Sierra) fails

Can anyone (1) replicate this Preview.app bug, (2) expand information (which types of PDF are affected), and (3) find a workaround/solution?


Preview.app 10.0 (944.2) in High Sierra (10.13.1) modifies certain searchable PDF files on first text search, and renders them unsearchable by Preview — although the PDF file remains fully searchable by Adobe Acrobat Reader (AAR)(2017.012.20098).


I do not have the resources to determine precisely which types of PDF are affected. In my limited experience, some book-length PDFs are, including a PDF produced using the standard and fully up-to-date (pdf)LaTeX system—but only those that were modified by Preview (a good while ago) by adding an image for the title page, which then is used for a custom icon.


As a (fresh) copy of a searchable PDF is opened (which I remember to have been text-searchable months and years ago), the title-bar turns into the the "Edited" version after entering even just a few letters (depending on the length of the document and typing speed) into the search field. Once the file becomes "Edited," Preview no longer can find any text in the document. On closing the window, the PDF is automatically saved in this "Edited" version (unless reverted to a previous version by the File/Revert To menu command), which then prevents Preview from searching it when subsequently opened. Since the PDF file remains legible and searchable for AAR, this is clearly a Preview.app issue: Preview's text search commences searching as soon as anything is typed into the search field (and modifies the PDF, presumably adding/modifying an index). By contrast, AAR commences searching only after clicking the "search" loupe icon, and so presumably ignores the index(?) corrupted by Preview.

MacBook Pro (Retina, 15-inch, Mid 2015), macOS High Sierra (10.13.1)

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Question: Text search in PDF (Preview/High Sierra) fails