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Searchable PDF file problem with Win 7/8 64 bit – Solved

I am trying to go as paperless as possible. I have been saving receipts from the web as PDFs using PDF Creator..  I also have been scanning documents as PDFs and storing them. However, I have not been able to find them using windows search on my Win 7 64 bit system.

I came across an article on how to fix the PDF search issue.

The essence of the problem is that Windows 7/8 64 bit systems have a faulty PDF search filter.

The fix is to download the filter from Adobe and then re-index your search data.  Keep in mind that if you have a lot of files reindexing can take a LOT of time. When you fix the filter issue, new PDFs will be searchable but old PDFs will not be searchable until they are reindexed

In order to fix the issue:

  • Make sure you are running the 64 bit version of Windows 7/8
  • Go to the control panel
  • Choose small icons
  • Find Indexing Options
  • Click on advanced
  • Click on File Types
  • Scroll down to PDFs. If there is a filter issue, you will see an error  indicated (registered iFilter is not found)
If you have a problem with the filter, then
  • Go to the adobe site to download the filter
  • For some reason I could not download the filter using Chrome, I had to use Firefox.
  • Install the filter.
  • Check the Indexing options as indicated above.
  • If you were successful, you will no longer see the error for PDFs.
The next step will be to reindex the files. You probably want to start that process at a time when the machine will be running but you will not be using it a lot.
A problem still remains for me in that I found that some PDFs created from applications such as browsers were images, not text. I’ll address that in another post. I can run OCR on the PDFs after creating them but I want the process to be as automated as possible.

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