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I would like a PDF viewer that I can search documents with using regular expressions. Is there such a thing? I've tried PowerGrep, but it doesn't have a graphical viewer and its interface is a little heavy for my users.

Thank you very much for your time and consideration Iain

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sounds like there's still a vacuum to fill :-( – Jason S Nov 21 '12 at 23:55

Yes there is. Agent Ransack This software can search through directories of files of most formats and takes REGEX too.

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The closest I have ever found for this is a package called the PDF Search Assistant. The website looks dodgy I admit but the software actually works very well and does allow regex across multiple files.

It's not free or cheap however and I haven't needed to do this in some time so I am not aware of anything newer.

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pdfgrep still exists and is packaged for Debian. However, it doesn’t have a graphical user interface.

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sudo apt-get install pdfgrep – kenorb Nov 22 '12 at 15:53


With regex search:

Without regex search:


  • grepWin, it supports regex, but doesn't support PDF files yet.


Without regex search:

  • pdfgrep (no GUI, available via apt-get)

Related question: Is there any pdf reader that supports word searching with regular expression?

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regexp (for example, (e )?Universit[yä]) search works quite well for me in pdfgrep version 1.3.0. – Claudius Nov 22 '12 at 16:36

dngrep - GREP for Windows is said to be able to search PDF documents via plug-in.

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