36

I got a bunch of notes written by other students, but they are from an old textbook that didn't deal with everything in the same order, so I need to search through the notes for every chapter (each individual chapter is in a different .pdf or .doc) for "trace conditioning" for example.

I used to use Google Desktop for this, I have Launchy now and I told it to search pdfs, but it only searches the titles, not the content.

Thanks for any help.

  • Once you find a match, what are you trying to do? – cremefraiche Dec 10 '14 at 12:47
  • Do you need to know if a string occurs in a file, or where that is as well? – Jacob Vlijm Dec 10 '14 at 13:10
  • Once i find which chapter covers the topic i am looking for I can read the notes on that topic in that chapter, so I just need to know IF and not where. (Please remember when answering that I can't comment on your answers because I haven't got 50 reputation points, I can only comment on my own question). – Rabbit Dec 10 '14 at 13:31
  • 1
    You can comment on answers to your question, we're not that harsh. – Alaa Ali Dec 10 '14 at 13:42
  • @Rabbit with your edit summary you blocked me to editing your question to removing "Thanks" ;) – αғsнιη Dec 21 '14 at 15:58
31

Recoll is probably the most versatile document search engine you will find on Linux:

enter image description here

It supports a plethora of different formats and is very customizable.

For installation instructions and other pointers please check out this answer. The official documentation is very useful, too.

  • 4
    Accepting this answer because it's native to linux, it's in the ubuntu software centre and it's all gui. In other words, this is the easiest one :D Thanks :) – Rabbit Dec 10 '14 at 17:28
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    Amazing app. So fast! – yuranos87 Mar 5 '17 at 10:30
  • 2
    Don't forget to install antiword in order to search .doc files as well. – lenooh Jan 12 '18 at 23:31
22

Install the package pdfgrep

sudo apt-get install pdfgrep

then use the command:

find /path -iname '*.pdf' -exec pdfgrep pattern {} +
  • Can we able to configure it with gnome search engine ?? – A Umar Mukthar May 7 '15 at 2:52
  • Thank you! This worked. If anyone is wondering, "pattern" is what you would replace with specific text. If the text has spaces in it, you can enclose it in double quotes. – 6005 May 8 '17 at 7:19
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    If you know where your PDF files are, you can simplify the command to just pdfgrep -r "my expression" where -r searches recursively through directories. – LondonRob Feb 9 '18 at 13:08
4

Use DocFetcher, it is a native Linux application that indexes and searches through multiple document types.

  • 1
    Thanks! That works well, can't seem to execute it without using the terminal though. I'd vote you up but.. can't vote yet ;) – Rabbit Dec 10 '14 at 13:59
  • @Rabbit Um, I think you can also vote on answers to your question. – Alaa Ali Dec 10 '14 at 14:21
  • @AlaaAli No, the reputation limit applies to the OP also. – Glutanimate Dec 10 '14 at 17:05
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    Yup, I couldn't. I can now though! :) I just needed 15 – Rabbit Dec 10 '14 at 17:29
0

I understand that Adobe Reader is proprietary software, but it has well designed Search in Files functionality (accessible from Edit->Search menu or by pressing Ctrl+Shift+F).

Simple Search Options

The Simple search window is shown below:

Simple search in Adobe Reader

You need to set Where would you like to search? to All PDF Documents in and then select location from drop-down menu (Browse for Location).

You can enter search item to the What word or phrase would you like to search for? field and specify search options: Whole words only, Case-Sensitive, Include Bookmarks, Include Comments.

Advanced Search Options

Advanced search is more configurable - see image below:

Advanced Search

The search path is set in Look In.
Search item - in What word or phrase would you like to search for?.
Return results containing has options: Match Exact word or phrase, Match Any of the words, Match All of the words, Boolean query.

Other options include: Whole words only, Case-Sensetive, Proximity, Stemming, Include Bookmarks, Include Comments, Include Attachments.


Note: you can still install native Adobe Reader version 9.5.5 as described in other thread.

-5
  1. first download "wine" software in your desktop
  2. In this win install seekfast as link given below
  3. http://seekfast.org/download-seekfast
  4. you can do your work
  5. its working ,if its not then plz comment me
  • 1
    Down-voted for suggesting wine (which means windows), when Linux solutions exist. – Sri Dec 17 '14 at 2:34
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    sorry bro but when I need it that times I use this that's why Give that suggestion. – Virbhadrasinh Gohil Dec 17 '14 at 4:43
  • Running windows application under ubuntu is generally not suggested. As linux is virtually virus free. I go with @Sri 's idea – A Umar Mukthar May 7 '15 at 2:50

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