difference between Full-Text index and pdf search

Dear Zotero comunity,
I'm facing a strange issue with the Zotero standalone application.
I have a lot of pdf documents that have been indexed by Zotero (these pdf have many diacritics and unusual characters). If I search a string in their content, I can experience two different behaviors: 1) the 'Everything' Quick Search function retrieves, for instance, 10 items, yet 2) if I open the PDF, the search function cannot match the desired string already match by the Full-Text index.
Thus I wonder if there are different methods for indexing PDFs, one for the collection as a whole and one for the single PDF document.
  • The search within the pdf doesn't use an index at all, and yes, the tool parsing the text is different (pdftotext for the index, pdf.js for the viewer), so different search results on complex docs aren't super surprising
  • Is there any workaround to employ the Full-Text index in PDF viewer search? If I remember well, Mendeley had a very nice feature: a list of matched items with a preview of the matched string (presumably employing its Full-Text index). Is there any comparable with Zotero?
  • Showing search snippets in the items list is long-planned, but that wouldn't have anything to do with the PDF reader.

    If you're not getting results you expect in the PDF reader search, send an example PDF to support@zotero.org with a link to this thread.
  • I am experiencing the same thing frequently enough to be frustrated (part of that is that I'm trying to finish my CompSci dissertation, semester ends in 4 days!). I don't care too much about a search snippet preview, tho that would be nice. I just want to know that the 10 items in the list all actually have my search term in them. I just sent two examples.
  • You're saying items that don't contain the search term show up in your search? That should be impossible -- how exactly are you searching? And are you sure the PDFs aren't just greyed out (with the search term appearing somewhere in the metadata)? Or is it just that the search term isn't found by a search in the PDF using Zotero reader (the issue faced by the original poster)
  • edited December 5, 2022
    @cbell4444: You seem to be searching for two words in the main search bar and expecting that to only match the exact phrase. If you want to limit that to a phrase, you need to use quotation marks.

    Like any in-document search, the PDF reader find bar searches for phrases.
  • @dstillman Thank you, that was it. Glad it was simple. I would've thought to try that, but 5 days * 2 hours sleep/day == tired brain...
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