[reportlab-users] Reportlab text not searchable in Apple OSX Preview.App? but searchable in Acrobat and google-pdf viewer ?

Robin Becker robin at reportlab.com
Wed Aug 5 08:19:34 EDT 2009

hari jayaram wrote:

> I noticed however that the text laden pdfs I am rendering are not searchable

> using Apple Mac (Leopard) OSX Preview.App


> When I use the built in search within Preview.App only single characters

> light up ( only single characters show matches like a , b , c , d ) No words

> light up..


> The very same pdfs are searchable in Adobe Acrobat on a PC and in Googles (

> GMAIL) built in pdf viewer . The Google pdf viewer even highlights every

> occurace and gives great statistics.


> But something about my pdfs make Preview not digest the run of characters as

> words.

> Since a lot of the users are Mac users . How can I allow Preview.App to

> understand that "Peg 400" in my pdf is a word and not p , e , g etc etc..

Since the document doesn't change presumably the problem lies in this
Preview.App. First off can you check that other PDF's are searchable?

Also if possible can you supply a minimal reportlab script to make a pdf that
fails the test and explain what it is you do to show the search failing?

I'm not a mac person, but we do have access to a couple of macs so we can do the
testing. I seem to recall that OSX has a global document search facility (like
windows search for a file containing a phrase); is that what we're talking about?
Robin Becker

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