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Chapter Seven. Electronic Documents > Cataloging PDF Files

Cataloging PDF Files

I've talked a lot about PDF files being “digital masters,” and whether you use these masters for print or electronic publishing (or both), one of the most important things you can do with them is save them in a collection, or library. To make any collection of documents manageable, you need a system to organize its content. For PDF files, that system can take the form of Acrobat's Catalog feature: Use it to create a searchable index of your library of PDF files.

Keep in mind, however, that Acrobat's ability to search indexes and collections only extends to local hard drives and networks, not to the Web. Not surprisingly, then, you can only view these collections in Acrobat (not a browser). Nor can typical Web search engines search PDF file contents in the same way they search HTML files. If you want your PDF content to be searchable on your intranet, you need to use a third-party search engine, such as Verity, that supports PDF. Alternatively, Adobe offers the IFilter plug-in, which lets you index PDF files in a site in Microsoft Index Server, allowing site visitors to search for text within the PDF files (in addition to HTML and .doc files, which Index Server supports by default). If you plan to implement either of these technologies, however, you'll need to get your IT department involved.


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