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How do I troubleshoot PDF Search? (Mac)

Shane D.

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Hi All,
In the past, we’ve seen reports from users that they are unable to search for PDF’s via Evernote for Mac.
If you are encountering issues with searching notes/content from within Evernote, or with search via Spotlight, please see the following article:
If you are encountering issues with searching PDF’s for Mac, please try the following to troubleshoot the issue:
Should the PDF files be searchable? Remember, with Evernote, you can search PDFs created from:
  • Scanned documents
  • Microsoft Word, Adobe Acrobat, or other office and word processing applications (Evernote Premium and Business only)

    Also, in order for the search function to work properly, make sure that your PDF file meets the following requirements:

    • Scanned PDFs with clear, typed text (handwriting is not searchable inside PDFs)
    • PDFs that do not already contain text that you can select or copy
    • PDFs with at least one page with a small image (1025 pixels of image data)
    • PDFs less than 100 pages long
    • PDFs less than 25 MB in size
    • PDFs that are not password-protected
    • PDFs that are not corrupted or unreadable

    Troubleshooting: If scanned PDFs are not appearing in your search results

    • Sync Evernote. It can take up to 4 hours for Evernote to recognize text in newly attached PDFs. If you're encountering sync errors, check here for troubleshooting suggestions. Note: If you are working with a local notebook, PDFs inside that notebook are not synced and will not be searchable. Move the note into a synced notebook.
    • Search Evernote for a specific word you know is inside the scanned PDF. If the word isn't found, the file is not indexed for search.
    • Open the PDF in Adobe Reader or your PDF viewer and try selecting text in the file. If the text is selectable, it should show up in Evernote search. If text is not selectable, your PDF is probably scanned images and you need Evernote Premium for the text to be recognized.
    If the PDF file meets the file requirements, and the troubleshooting steps listed above did help to resolve the issue, please do the following in order to force the PDF to be re-OCRed by our system, and hopefully fix the problem:
    1. Right click (Control + Mouse click) on the PDF inside the note
    2. Open with... > Text Edit
    3. Add a new blank line to the bottom of the PDF
    4. Save and close
    5. Sync Evernote and try searching again
    Following the steps above will trigger the OCR engine to rescan the document for OCRing. 
    However, If none of these suggestions help, please contact us. It's helpful to include the following in your ticket submission: 
    • A copy of your activity log
    • A copy of the PDF file
    • A description of what is happening
    • A list of all the steps you took before you contacted Evernote Support
    Link to post

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