Speed up PDF searches with Adobe PDF iFilter

We recently had an odd request to have large PDF documents converted to microsoft word. Due to the strange nature of what was being asked follow up with the staff member was a must since. No doubt they had their reasons but was it a request we could offer a better solution to...? It turns out that when they searched PDF documents it took a long time to get results and a large number of searches had to be done. They found that Word documents were much faster in getting results.

Now it wasn't a huge pain in my but to do the conversions but it could become one if it got out of hand so we investigated a proper solution. It turns out that Microsoft's Indexing system does not contain Adobe's PDF iFilter for 64-bit platforms out of the box and it was an easy install to get vast improvements in PDF search performance.

To indentify if you need PDF iFilter installed on your system...

  1. Open Control Panel and click indexing options
  2. Click the advanced button in the indexing options window
  3. Click the File Types tab in the advanced options window
  4. Scroll down to the "pdf" extension, if it looks like the image below you are good
  5. If it says "Registered IFilter is not found" like this one, you need to install the PDF iFilter

To install Adobe's PDF iFilter 9 for 64-bit platforms...

  1. Download iFilter from adobe's site (Download here...)
  2. Run the application after downloading following Adobe's instructions
  3. For best results and ensure documents that have previously been opened are indexed as well rebuild your index
    1. Open Control Panel and run Indexing options
    2. Click Advanced Options
    3. Click Rebuild, but be aware that this could take several hours and disrupt searching. (Some locations may not have accurate or complete search results until complete.)
**Moral of the story is to ask for more information if a request seems out of place, you may make your life and theirs easier by doing so**

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