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Thread: How to search through a big PDF?

  1. #1
    Registered User Simon DS's Avatar
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    Default How to search through a big PDF?

    Hi guys,
    Iím not sure if this question is asked very often...

    I have a single pdf file but itís actually a compilation of fifty or sixty of my TAB tunebooks that Iíve found or written up on my long journey exploring the internet.
    It works great for finding the TAB for tunes that few people have heard of... HOWEVER, because there are about 7,500 tunes in the book it takes five or ten minutes for the phone to go through all the different search results.


    So I was wondering if you guys know of any, for example, iPhone shortcuts for doing the search and getting the results as an index pdf maybe?

    Are eReaders better than Adobe Lite? I was thinking of getting an eReader...any good?

    Better question, how do you guys store your private eRepertoires?

  2. #2
    Registered User Charlie Bernstein's Avatar
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    Default Re: How to search through a big PDF?

    It's easy.

    Open the file.

    On a Mac, hit Command F.

    On a PC, I think it's Control F. (If that doesn't work, look for Find in your control panels. It's definitely somewhere.)

    The Find field will appear. On a Mac it will be on the top right. It's probably in the same place on a PC.

    In the Find field, type the word or phrase you're looking for. It will highlight it wherever it appears, and it will take you to the first example.

    To move through the examples, you can either scroll down to find the highlighted word or phrase or click on the > symbol next to the Find field.
    Gibson A-Junior snakehead (Keep on pluckin'!)

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  4. #3
    Registered User Simon DS's Avatar
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    Default Re: How to search through a big PDF?

    Thanks Charlie this works great for smaller files, I’m just looking for something that will create an index of maybe 100 pages that are at the beginning of this huge pdf. These would probably search quicker than having the search engine go through each individual page every time a do a search.

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  6. #4
    Unfamous String Buster Beanzy's Avatar
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    Default Re: How to search through a big PDF?

    I use FileBrowser and create folders for Genres and instrument types along with folders for the duo band and orchestra plus a Tuition folder. The bulk go in the Genres folder which is subdivided in a way that makes most sense to me. I just use those as repositories from which I glean my current songs for set lists and projects in OnSong. So I can manipulate annotate or delete the OnSong stuff without affecting the original files. In your situation I'd start by chopping up the PDF into individual tunes then organise them in a logical way for however I would normally view each tune & song, then just extract the current stuff to OnSong & browse the repository every now & then to get some new sprinkles to freshen up the current stuff & remove anything that's fallen out of current use.
    Eoin



    "Forget that anyone is listening to you and always listen to yourself" - Fryderyk Chopin

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  8. #5

    Default Re: How to search through a big PDF?

    There is a big difference between the free Adobe Reader ( I think it's called Adobe DC now ) and a full featured PDF product like Adobe DC Pro. There may be others, of course. Just to be clear, what you have is a really long single document PDF that you have been adding to for years and you want a product to find all the songs starting page and make a table of contents with a link so you can find a song title and very quickly click on it an be there?

    The big question would be, how will it know the first page of a song?

  9. #6

    Default Re: How to search through a big PDF?

    Quote Originally Posted by Simon DS View Post
    Thanks Charlie this works great for smaller files, Iím just looking for something that will create an index of maybe 100 pages that are at the beginning of this huge pdf. These would probably search quicker than having the search engine go through each individual page every time a do a search.
    Those search functions are not restricted to the page you are on. there wil be "scroll Arrows" once you get it started.

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  11. #7
    Moderator MikeEdgerton's Avatar
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    Default Re: How to search through a big PDF?

    Keep in mind that you may not be able to search every PDF you come into contact with. Some PDF's are created by creating an image of the text. Since it didn't start out text based those are not searchable.
    "Bargain instruments are no bargains if you can't play them". These are the words of J. Garber.

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  13. #8
    Registered User Brian560's Avatar
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    Default Re: How to search through a big PDF?

    I don't think Simon is talking about one long continuous pdf page, but a set of pages assembled into one file to create a book. The new Adobe Acrobat DC reader does allow you to search and it is free. Other choices might be Apple Books and iReader. Recently I have started using forScore http://forscore.co/ to try and assemble my scattered collection of pdf files. I heard you can also import books such as the Mel Bay ebooks (and their backing tracks) into that program. I can't say much else about it, because I am still learning how to use it.

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  15. #9

    Default Re: How to search through a big PDF?

    Quote Originally Posted by MikeEdgerton View Post
    Keep in mind that you may not be able to search every PDF you come into contact with. Some PDF's are created by creating an image of the text. Since it didn't start out text based those are not searchable.
    If this is the case, one option is to run the PDF through OCR (Optical Character Recognition) software, which will make images of text searchable. It isn't perfect, and the accuracy of your results will depend on the quality of the scanned images, but it can be very helpful.

    On a Mac I use PDFPenPro for this. You can download a free trial at https://pdfpen.com/pdfpenpro/. It looks like the trial includes almost all of the features and has no time limit, but will stamp the company logo on all the pages of a saved file.
    Eastman MD315

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  17. #10
    Registered User Charlie Bernstein's Avatar
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    Default Re: How to search through a big PDF?

    Quote Originally Posted by Outlawmws View Post
    Those search functions are not restricted to the page you are on. there wil be "scroll Arrows" once you get it started.
    'Zackly. That's the arrow I mentioned.

    I've used it to search entire books. The length of the PDF (or any other text) doesn't matter. If you want to know how many times someone says murder in Hamlet, the Find tool will highlight every murder in the document — and tell you how many there are and let jump to them.

    Handy! But maybe not what Simon wants.
    Gibson A-Junior snakehead (Keep on pluckin'!)

  18. #11
    Registered User Charlie Bernstein's Avatar
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    Default Re: How to search through a big PDF?

    xxx
    Gibson A-Junior snakehead (Keep on pluckin'!)

  19. #12
    Registered User Charlie Bernstein's Avatar
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    Default Re: How to search through a big PDF?

    Quote Originally Posted by Simon DS View Post
    Thanks Charlie this works great for smaller files, I’m just looking for something that will create an index of maybe 100 pages that are at the beginning of this huge pdf. These would probably search quicker than having the search engine go through each individual page every time a do a search.
    Yes, and it works great for big files, too. See post 10.

    To make an index, I'd normally say create a spreadsheet, but with 7,500 tunes, that wouldn't be practical. So hitting Find still seems like the most practical route. But I know nothing about e-readers — and that might be just what you want.
    Last edited by Charlie Bernstein; Nov-30-2021 at 10:55pm.
    Gibson A-Junior snakehead (Keep on pluckin'!)

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