Can't search PDF document using Acrobat Reader 7.0

I just accepted an answer from khkremer by upgrading to Acrobat Reader 7.0 but now the search function that I had in version 6.O is no longer available.

What am I doing wrong?

Who is Participating?
I wear a lot of hats...

"The solutions and answers provided on Experts Exchange have been extremely helpful to me over the last few years. I wear a lot of hats - Developer, Database Administrator, Help Desk, etc., so I know a lot of things but not a lot about one thing. Experts Exchange gives me answers from people who do know a lot about one thing, in a easy to use platform." -Todd S.

Karl Heinz KremerCommented:
How are you searching?
Karl Heinz KremerCommented:
BTW: I missed something in your other question: I assumed that we were talking about Acrobat, and not Reader. Did you remove the old versions? You can still get an older version of Reader from Adobe's web page. They have most old versions available for download in an archive area. So, if you want to use Adobe Reader 6, there still is a way to get it. However, you should be able to do everything you did with Reader 6 in 7.
aa18ronAuthor Commented:

Thanks for quick response. I've already accepted your prvious answer and should have been clearer about Acrobat Reader.

I removed the previous versions 5 and 6 using your directions.

Reader 7.0 opens my documents just fine.

I am searching without success for known words in the opened document using the "binocular" icon, the Find toolbar, and Control>F

None works.

I must be doing something wrong and would prefer not going back to 5 or 6.
Announcing the Winners!

The results are in for the 15th Annual Expert Awards! Congratulations to the winners, and thank you to everyone who participated in the nominations. We are so grateful for the valuable contributions experts make on a daily basis. Click to read more about this year’s recipients!

Karl Heinz KremerCommented:
Are you sure that the document is searchable? Did you ever search in this document with 5 or 6? Search should work the same way as with previous versions. To find out if the document is searchable, use the text selection tool and try to select some text from your document and copy it, then paste it e.g. into Notepad. Do you see the correct text? Is this on Windows?
aa18ronAuthor Commented:
I had searched successfully with 6.

I used the text selection tool and pasted into Word and it copied accurately.

MY OS is  Windows XP Home.

Thanks for your continuing help.

Note: I CAN search in random PDF documents on the Web.
Karl Heinz KremerCommented:
So it's just this one document? It's possible that the way to document was produced does cause search problems: There is no concept of words or lines or paragraphs in PDF. To form a word, you can for example place the word "Mississippi" on a page like this (please note, I'm using pseudo code, not real PDF drawing operations):

Go to position X1, Y1
Draw Letter "M"
Go to position X2, Y1
Draw Letter "i"
Go to position X3, Y1
Draw Letter "i"
Go to position X4, Y1
Draw Letter "i"
Go to position X5, Y1
Draw Letter "i"
Go to position X6, Y1
Draw Letter "s"
Go to position X7, Y1
Draw Letter "s"
Go to position X8, Y1
Draw Letter "s"
Go to position X9, Y1
Draw Letter "s"
Go to position X10, Y1
Draw Letter "p"
Go to position X11, Y1
Draw Letter "p"

As you can see, there is no word or even a group of characters in this short snippet. What Acrobat has to do (and actually does) is to take all the positions of the different characters (or longer text runs) and sort them by their relative position on a page. Then in a second step, it groups individual characters and longer text runs into words. There are no spaces in PDF! This means that it also has to determine if two characters are farther apart then the other characters that could form a word, and if so, break up the text into individual words.

This is a very complex task, and it does not always work correctly. Actually, once you know how complex this task is, it's amazing that it works at all :-)

Of course, most PDF creating applications don't place the letters that much out of order onto a page, which means that it's a bit easier for Acrobat to form the words, but it's still a lot more complex than searching in e.g. a web page or a Word document.

If you can search in some documents, then search is definitely working. Try to search for other terms in your PDF file. Try words that are not in tables, not in section headings, footnotes, ...

Would you be able to share this PDF file? If so, you can email it to me (you can find my email address in my profile - just click on my user name anywhere on this page).

Experts Exchange Solution brought to you by

Your issues matter to us.

Facing a tech roadblock? Get the help and guidance you need from experienced professionals who care. Ask your question anytime, anywhere, with no hassle.

Start your 7-day free trial
I am having the same problem with Acrobat Reader 7.0. With 6.0 I was able to search. I download my text for school from their website in the acrobat reader format. I have gone through the exercises listed above and still no luck searching. I used the add/remove and got rid of 6.0 and 7.0 and downloaded 6.0 and then I couldn't search with it. I have Windows XP. I am at a loss and a pretty good newbie, but this has me stumped. Any suggestions would be very much appreciated. I have not tried to search a pdf document on the web yet but will while waiting for an answer. Thanks

One more thing I tried: I opened a file from an older class and was able to do a search using 7.0. Is it possible that the way the documents for this class were created is the problem? Thanks
Karl Heinz KremerCommented:
As I stated before, the way a document is created can influence how good text can be extracted from a PDF file (which is necessary to do a search).
Thank you, I will pursue problem through the school.
It's more than this solution.Get answers and train to solve all your tech problems - anytime, anywhere.Try it for free Edge Out The Competitionfor your dream job with proven skills and certifications.Get started today Stand Outas the employee with proven skills.Start learning today for free Move Your Career Forwardwith certification training in the latest technologies.Start your trial today
Adobe Acrobat

From novice to tech pro — start learning today.