Tag Archives: Easy PDF Search

Easy PDF Search ‘hotspot’

We added a ‘hotspot’ feature to Easy PDF Search to help you share your PDF index easily with other users.  We originally wanted to call it the ‘application server function’, but felt that ‘hotspot’ was a more user-friendly and recognisable name, and users would be familiar with the hotspot analogy on smartphones.

Setting up a hotspot

The hotspot function essentially shares your Easy PDF Search database with up to 2 other users.  When you set up a hotspot, you enter the port you want to open and the password.

Connecting to a hotspot

Once you have set up your hotspot, your users can connect to your hotspot using your computer name/IP address, port, and password.

Restrictions when searching a hotspot database

Your users can only search your existing index.  They will not be able to index any new files in your libraries.

This reduces the possibility of users indexing your PDF files unnecessarily.  For the user hosting the hotspot database, you can still index the new PDF files.

Let us know what you think of the hotspot feature, and any suggestions you may have.

You can download a 14-day trial of Easy PDF Search here, and experience for yourself how easy it is to search you PDF file collection, and share the index database with other users.

Scrolling to search words in Easy PDF Search

We had a user who contacted us recently with a navigation issue.  She had been using Easy PDF Search instead of Acrobat because Acrobat was too slow handling hundreds of pages.  However, because her PDF files are not in A4 format, it was cumbersome to scroll the pages using the scroll bars, to locate the search words.

We discovered that her PDF files were scans of historical publications, dating back to the mid-1850s, and were in the classic ‘broadsheet’ format.  This is a page at 50% magnification.

To read anything, you had to set the zoom to at least 200%.

To improve the usability for such files, we made the following changes in Easy PDF Search 7:

  • mouse panning
    Pressing the CONTROL key, together with the left mouse button, and moving the mouse allows you to pan the page left/right and up/down.  This removes the need to use the scroll bars.
  • scroll to next search word
    There is now a button you can click (or use the F3 key) to scroll the page to the next search word.

    You can limit the scope of this function by setting the 2 options to limit it to only the current word, and/or the current page.

    This removes the need to visually scan for the highlighted search words.

The user was amazed with these changes which helped her save even more time on a genealogical and historical research project.

You can download a 14-day trial of Easy PDF Search here, and experience for yourself how easy it is to search you PDF file collection.

Importing and exporting libraries in Easy PDF Search

in Easy PDF Search 6.5, we added the functionality  to export and import your category and library structure.  Some users wanted to share their library structures with other users, and there was no easy way to do that previously.

To export your library configuration settings, select the Export libraries configuration item from the Tools menu.

Then select a file to store the configuration in.  You can now share the file with another user.  To import the configuration, select the Import libraries configuration item from the Tools menu.

Then select the file you exported earlier.  Easy PDF Search will then import the category and library structure from the file.

Note that the existing library configuration will be replaced by this new configuration.

Searching the search results in Easy PDF Search

We recently had a user ask if it was possible to perform a search on the files returned by the search results in Easy PDF Search.  This isn’t possible for now.  There is however a workaround.

First, you need to copy the files returned by the initial search into another folder.  To do this, right click in the search results area to bring up the context menu, then select the Copy/move files to another folder… item.

In the subsequent window, enter the folder to copy the files to, then click on the Copy button.

Now we’ll need to create a library that references that folder.

Now all we need to do is select that library when we want to perform a search.

Easy PDF Search color schemes

In Easy PDF Search 6.2, users can now change the color schemes to one of 3 options.  There is the default light color scheme:

and 2 additional ‘darker’ schemes i.e. a dark scheme

and a gray scheme.

This was added based on user feedback, who pointed out that using Easy PDF Search for long periods of time on a large monitor using the default light color scheme caused eye discomfort.

To change the color scheme, select the Color scheme item from the main menu:

and then select the color scheme you want to use.

Download a 14-day trial of Easy PDF Search now and experience a faster way to search your PDF collection.

Multi-user support in Easy PDF Search

Easy PDF Search 5.3 (EPS) now has limited support for multi-user access.  Users running EPS on different computers can now access the same EPS database to search their indexed files.

There are limitations as to the multi-user support.  EPS uses SQLite as the underlying database to store the indexed words.  SQLite is a file-based database.  Unlike a client-server database (PostgreSQL, SQL Server, etc), a file-based database usually needs to transfer all or most of its content to the application using it.  This means that it may not be feasible to run EPS against a 100 GB database, as the users’ computers would be spending a lot of time reading the large file over the network.

Setting up Easy PDF Search for multi-user access

EPS version

Ensure that you are using EPS 5.3 or newer.  You can check the version you have by selecting the Help > About item on the main menu.

In the About screen, the version number is displayed.

It is important that all users accessing the same database be on version 5.3 or newer.

Database file location

The database file needs to be stored on a network share.  You will then need to change the EPS  database settings to point to that network share.  To do that, click on the File > Settings item on the main menu.

Enter the network share path.

PDF files path

To open the PDF files in the search results, each user needs to be able to access the PDF files.  This means that the paths in the library needs to be network shares e.g.

Presently, the path explorer is unable to browse network shares, so you will need to enter the network share manually in the path area.


By default, every time you perform a search, EPS first scans for new PDF files and index them.  In a multi-user scenario, this is inefficient.

You should designate a single user to update the index for new files.  Other users should use any of the other options that skip the indexing process:

  • Search only indexed files
    EPS will scan the selected libraries’ folders for PDF files, and only return results from files that have been indexed.  New or updated files are not indexed.
  • Search index only (selected libraries)
    EPS will search all indexed files in folders used by the selected libraries.
  • Search index only
    EPS will search all indexed files.

Points to note

We do not expect this multi-user access implementation to support a client-server experience.  It will probably work for database files of a modest size, supporting a small number of users.  The exact numbers will vary, depending on the network infrastructure and machine specifications in use.

If you discover any bugs or have any suggestions to improve EPS, please drop us a line at support@yohz.com.

You can download the latest version of Easy PDF Search using this link.

Displaying logical page numbers in search results

By default, the search results In Easy PDF Search displays the physical page numbers where the search words/phrases are found.

You may sometimes want to display the logical page numbers instead. For e.g. say we have a PDF file that has a cover, followed by a blank page, then 5 pages of prefaces using roman numbering, followed by another blank page, then finally the actual content.

The logical numbering of the PDF would look something like this:

  • cover (physical page 1)
  • blank page (physical page 2)
  • page I (physical page 3)
  • page II (physical page 4)
  • page III (physical page 5)
  • page IV (physical page 6)
  • page V (physical page 7)
  • blank page (physical page 8)
  • page 1 (physical page 9)
  • page 2 (physical page 10)

In Easy PDF Search 5.2, you can now define the logical page numbering for a PDF file and display that numbering scheme in your search results.  The search results using logical page numbering for the above example will then be displayed this way:

To define the logical page numbering for a PDF file, right click on the PDF file name in the search results and click on the Define logical page numbering item.

In the Logical Page Numbers screen, enter the page count for each page type that have their own numbering scheme or none at all. Using the example above, this is how we would define the logical page numbers.


Easy PDF Search 5 – highlighting function

In Easy PDF Search 5 (EPS), we added a highlighting function.  This is to help users who need to highlight content in their PDF files after EPS has delivered the search results.  Previously, we had to open the PDF file in another application like Acrobat Reader to highlight the content, thus losing the search results and navigation functions available in EPS.


DON”T use the highlighting function in EPS to redact your PDF content.  The highlighted areas are path ‘objects’, which can be easily removed.  

Getting started

We will need to open the file we want to highlight in EPSs’ internal viewer.  To do that, select the Open PDF file using internal viewer option from the context menu in the search tree.

The file is then opened in its own tab.

The search words are still highlighted, but using outlines instead of a solid color.  Using a solid color is confusing as it becomes difficult to differentiate our own highlighted text and those highlighted by EPS for the search words.

You can still highlight the search terms in solid color by deselecting the Show outlines only for search words option.

Highlighting content

To highlight the content, or remove the highlighting, use these options on the toolbar.

Toggle the Highlight text button to enable and disable highlighting.  When enabled, drag the mouse over the content you want to highlight.  Release the mouse to apply the highlight.

TIP: You can also click on the right mouse button to toggle the Highlight text button.

The color drop down allows you to select the highlighting color.

Click on the Remove highlight button to remove existing highlighted areas.  When enabled, click on a highlighted area to remove the highlight.  Note that EPS is unable to differentiate between highlights applied in EPS and by other applications.  If it detects a path object on where you clicked on, it will simply attempt to remove it.

The Remove all highlights on current page button allows you to remove all highlighted areas on the current page.  Again, EPS cannot differentiate between highlights it applied and existing highlights applied by another application.  It will simply remove all PDF path objects it finds on the current page.


Saving the highlighted file

You must save the modified PDF file using a different name from the original file name.  Click on the Save PDF file button to save your modified file.

Once you have saved the file, the modified PDF file name is displayed in the drop down list under the Save button.

To open this file in an external viewer, click on the Open PDF file using external application button.  Windows will then attempt to open the file using the registered PDF application.

Your PDF file is also automatically saved when you close EPS, but you need to have previously saved the file.


When you close and reopen EPS, any files that were previously opened in the internal viewer will also be automatically loaded and displayed.  This allows you to continue your work from where you last left off.

Next steps

Depending on user feedback and sales, the following items are currently considered for implementation:

  • an option to remove all highlights from the entire file
  • a function to extract all the highlighted text from a page/file
  • make the highlighting function available to files opened outside of the search function

If you have any other suggestions, please drop us a line at support@yohz.com.

Finding PDF files that do not contain any text

The situation is as follows: you use Easy PDF Search to index and search for words and phrases in your PDF files.  Suddenly, you realise that not all your files have been indexed because they actually do not contain any searchable text.

This can happen if your PDF files are actually scans of documents, and you use an OCR application to read and store the text inside the PDF.  Now you need a quick and easy way to identify those PDF files that have not been scanned.

You can easily do this in Easy PDF Explorer.  First, select the Count images and text option.

If you want an accurate count of the number of images and text, you can leave the option at in all pages.  If you just want to know if a file contains any characters, then selecting the but stop when text is found option will speed up the process significantly.

This is because Easy PDF Explorer no longer has to scan every page in the PDF file – the moment it encounters a page that contains text, it stops scanning.  If your aim is just to know which files don’t contain any text, then this option is the fastest.

Once you’ve selected those options, select the PDF files you want to scan in the explorer window.

Easy PDF Explorer then lists down the files together with the number of characters in each file.

Click on the Characters column, and you can quickly sort the files by number of characters found.

Say you want to copy those files with no text to another folder.  Right click and select the Deselect all item.

Now click on the first file with no text, and while holding down the SHIFT key, click on the last file with no text.  The range of files will be highlighted.

Now right click to bring up the context menu, and click on the Select item.  The range of files will then be selected.

Now just click on the Copy to folder button, select the folder to copy the selected files to, and you’re done.  Now all you have to do is run your OCR application on those files to create a searchable PDF file.

Download a 14-day trial of Easy PDF Explorer now to work with your PDF files faster.

Easy PDF Search

Easy PDF Search is our advanced PDF indexing and search tool.  Read how Roberto Mantovani, Assistant Professor at the University of Urbino (Italy), uses Easy PDF Search to help him search his collection of over 12000 PDF files totalling over 320 GB in size.

What’s new in Easy PDF Search 4

Easy PDF Search (EPS) 4 was recently released with the following changes:

Notes window

There is now a Notes window in EPS which you can use to take notes while working with your search results.  The Notes Editor is a simple text editor, and will float above all other EPS windows.

Your notes are saved in the rich-text format, and if you have Microsoft Word installed, you can also save the notes to DOCX and PDF formats.

You can also embed PDF documents into the Notes window, so you can view multiple PDF documents simultaneously for reference.

Usability improvements

  • You can now scroll across multiple pages by holding down the SHIFT key and moving the mouse wheel.
  • You can now zoom in and out of a page by holding down the CONTROL key and moving the mouse wheel.
  • You can now specify the font size to be used in the Search and Results windows via the Settings screen.

Database clean-up

Over time, the full-text index database may contain entries for non-existing files.  You can now delete those entries using the Clean function in the Settings screen.

This will free up space in the database for new files, but it will not reduce the size of the file.

For existing users who purchased a license within the last 12 months, you can upgrade to version 4 for free.  For users with older licenses, you can purchase a license extension for only USD 10.

You can download a 14-day trial version using this link.