Imported PDF does not Index

I don't know if this is normal functioning or not or just hasn't been added yet, but when I import a PDF into Zotero (from my file system) it is not indexed. However, a PDF will be indexed if it gotten through Zotero (for example, from JStor).
  • Can someone confirm or deny that this is normal?
  • Importing a PDF via the filesystem should also index the file. Indexing will only occur, however, if the PDF is either text (i.e. not scanned pages) or contains a text layer (like JSTOR PDFs). You could try downloading a JSTOR PDF to your desktop and then importing it into Zotero. It should index. You can check the status of indexing for a given file in Zotero by examining its info pane, which will say Indexed: Yes|No|Partial. Long PDFs are only partially indexed, but you can adjust your indexing prefs to index more of the document.
  • Thank you, I will give that a shot.
  • You might want to check that the pdf that isn't indexing isn't protected in any way. I've a number of academic pdf's which are copy-protected DRMed (honestly, you'd think academics would know better) and this stops the indexing.
    Regards, Jon.
  • Which form of attachment do you have to use to get the pdf file indexed ?
    - Link to file,
    - store a copy of file,
    - save link to current page,
    - take a snapshot ?

    When linking to a file it has to be downloaded on my pc, if I understand well. Right ?

    So to use the indexing tool I can no longer move the pdf into another folder once it has been indexed. Right ?

    But when I "save a link to current page" the pdf file doesn't reside on the pc. I guess it can't be indexed in this case. Right ?

    - ft
  • "Link to file" and "Store copy of file" will both index the PDF. "Store copy of current page" and Snapshots are for archiving HTML pages, so there are not relevant in this case.
  • So if I have a pdf that won't index, can i create the index myself? I can see all the information. I just need a tab to put it in - I'd do that if I were typing it into a document normally. There are no tabs in the right column when I select this pdf. (I'm new to zotero and haven't seen the tabs in the right column yet).
  • If I understand you right you are asking if you can paste the text of a PDF in one of the fields in the right column to help you find it in searches. If you have the text you can just paste it into the white box in the right column below the view and show file buttons. I should note that this is not the same as indexing the PDF. You are instead associating additional text with the file. For your purposes the difference should be negligible, either way the items will turn up in basic searches.
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