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Like this article? We recommend The Good Stuff: Multi-File Searching

The Good Stuff: Multi-File Searching

Where Advanced Search gets especially useful is when we need to search files in bulk.

The Search dialog box’s All PDFs In… pop-up menu (Figure 10) tells Acrobat to search for your target text in all the PDF files in a particular location.

Figure 10 The All PDF Documents In pop-up menu tells Acrobat to search all of the PDF files in a particular folder. Note that the final item in the menu lets you select an arbitrary folder.

As you can see in the figure, this menu comes loaded with a collection of common locations: mounted volumes, your desktop, your Documents folder, etc. The bottom-most item in the menu lets you select any folder on your disk as a search location and this is what I use to look up topics in my Acumen Journals: I tell Acrobat to search my Back Issues folder, click the Search button, and up pops a list of all the Journals that contain my target text (Figure 11). Clicking on one of the entries in the list of hits opens that PDF document to the appropriate place.

Figure 11 When you click on one of the entries in the multi-file hit list, Acrobat opens the appropriate deubert_fig11 and highlights the found text.

As a nice touch, Acrobat remembers previously-searched locations and adds them to the pop-up menu (Figure 12).

Figure 12 Conveniently, Acrobat adds recent search locations to the pop-up menu.

If you have selected the More Options link while setting up a multi-file search, you get a very impressive set of controls that let you restrict the selection of files that Acrobat will search (Figure 13). Each of the grouped set of controls lets you specify a “filter,” something that must be true of a file if it is to be searched (Figure 14). The criteria you can specify include such things as the file’s creation date and title.

Figure 13 Selecting Show More Options while doing a multi-file search yields a collection of controls that let you restrict the files within the folder that are searched.

Figure 14 The additional criteria can include file type, creation date, and title. You have lots of control over which files are examined.

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