Home » Adobe Acrobat » Index multiple PDFs and do full text advanced searches using Acrobat Professional

Index multiple PDFs and do full text advanced searches using Acrobat Professional

I face scenarios when I have to search for content across multiple documents. I talked about them in detail here. In this post, I share my favorite method to achieve this. As I said before, it gives a better user experience, is quite intuitive for anyone to follow, and fits well in the wider work flow.

  • Place all PDF documents in a single folder. If you have non-PDF docs, create PDF output of those.
  • Index the PDF files using Acrobat.
  • You can search in the index using Boolean queries of ALL your search strings.
  • Optionally (and this is best part!), you can export and save the search results as CSV or PDF. This enables further actions on search results.
    • I typically save the results as PDFs when I want to send them for a shared review with ability to comment on individual result.
    • I typically save the results as CSV when I want to create an Excel file with more columns for tracking or effort estimates for each result.

The following video is a quick demonstration of the above steps.

Tip: If you do not see ‘Document Processing’ option in the Tools pane, follow the three steps indicated in the following screenshot.

Document Processing Option in Acrobat

Note: Indexing multiple files is possible in Acrobat Professional only and not in Acrobat Standard. If you don’t find these options on the UI, re-check your Acrobat product.

Further references:

To just know about indexing PDF files, see this section in the article.
For a broader discussion about cataloging and indexing, see this article.
For advanced options for searching, see this article.

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3 thoughts on “Index multiple PDFs and do full text advanced searches using Acrobat Professional

    • Hi Joshua! I did mention in the post above, “Indexing multiple files is possible in Acrobat Professional only and not in Acrobat Standard.” I was not sure at the time of posting this. So I researched and had updated the post to include this Note.

      I am updating the title now, for a more clear message 🙂

  1. Pingback: Checking specific content across multiple guides in a documentation suite « Technical writers' tool kit

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