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Like this article? We recommend Search Parameters

Search Parameters

The Search dialog box has some very useful checkboxes that specify parameters that affect the search; click on the Show More Options link (Figure 6) and you get some additional checkboxes and a second pop-up menu (Figure 7). Most of these options are pretty obvious; I expect we are all clear about the phrase “Case-sensitive” at this point in our lives.

Figure 6 Clicking on the Show More Options link causes a collection of new controls to appear in the Search dialog box (Figure 7). Question: Am I the only one who’s bothered by Adobe’s use of text links instead of buttons in their dialog boxes?

Figure 7 The additional options consist of some mostly self-explanatory checkboxes and a second pop-up menu. Question: Am I the only one who’s bothered by the word “Less,” rather than “Fewer,” in the link at the bottom of the dialog box?

The only slightly puzzling checkboxes are:

  • Stemming. The term sounds vaguely horticultural, but it’s actually a reference to extending the target text to include variations. If you are searching for the word “Calculate” with stemming selected, Acrobat will also return instances of words such as “Calculated,” “Calculating,” and “Calculation” (Figure 8).
  • Figure 8 With the Stemming options selected, Acrobat will also identify variations on your target text. Thus, searching for “Calculate” also returned instances of “Calculated” and “Calculation.”

  • Proximity. This option is intended for cases where you have two or more words in your target; Proximity allows the words to be found if they are close to each other in the text (separated by only a few other words). Thus, if your target is “Calculated Fields,” Acrobat will see the phrase “calculated text fields” as a hit. This checkbox is grayed out unless you have more than one word in your target and you have selected “Match All of the Words” in the Return Results Containing menu (Figure 9).
  • Figure 9 The Return Results Containing pop-up menu lets you tell Acrobat whether your target text is an exact phrase, a collection of individual words, or a set of related words that must all be present. A Boolean query recognizes the words “and,” “or,” and other similar words so you can construct more complex searches. That takes a bit of practice.

  • Include Bookmarks, Include Comments, Include Attachments. These options aren’t hard to understand, but it is noteworthy that Acrobat doesn’t search bookmarks, annotations, or attached files unless you explicitly ask it to do so.

So far, so convenient; we get all instances of our search text at one time and don’t have to keep clicking the Find palette’s itty-bitty arrow keys, looking for the particular hit we want.

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