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From the author of Using the Search Index

Using the Search Index

When you want to search for text within an indexed collection of PDF files, you use the Acrobat Advanced Search function and select the pdx file as the item to be searched. Conveniently, Acrobat remembers pdx files you have searched before, so only once do you need to show Acrobat where the pdx file resides on your hard disk; in future indexed searches, you can simply pick the previously-used pdx file from a list.

This would be a good time to go back and read the earlier article on Advanced Searches, if you haven’t do so already; the following steps will be a bit cryptic, otherwise.

  1. In Acrobat, select Edit>Advanced Search. Acrobat will display the Advanced Search dialog box (Figure 8).
  2. Figure 8 The Advanced Search dialog box lets you specify one or more pdx files as the object of its search. Choose Currently Selected Indexes in the Look In pop-up menu.

  3. Click the Show More Options link at the bottom of the dialog box. A set of new controls will appear in the dialog box (as in Figure 8).
  4. In the “Look In” pop-up menu at the top of the dialog box, choose Select Index. Acrobat will display the Index Selection dialog box (Figure 9).
  5. Figure 9 You specify which indexes should be searched by selecting them in the Index Selection dialog box. You often don’t need to do this because Acrobat remembers your previously-searched indexes.

  6. If the index you want to search appears in the list of indices, then make sure the checkbox next to it is selected, and click OK.
  7. If the index you want is not visible in the list (because you’ve never searched that index before), then click the Add button and use the resulting pick-a-file dialog box to select the pdx file; the index will now appear in the list with its checkbox selected. Click the OK button to return to the Search dialog box.
  8. Note that you can add as many pdx files to the list as you wish; the Search function will search all indices whose checkboxes you have selected. This will not substantially slow the search, since the individual searches are so fast.

  9. Back in the Search dialog box, select whatever options you want to apply to the search (see the earlier article for a rundown of these), and then click the Search button. Acrobat will think about things for a gnat’s whisker and then return a list of all the instances of your text within the indexed files. This will be very fast; you may not notice any processing time at all.
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