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School is back and we will receive thousands of bad formated pdf documents in tons of different versions and formats from a dozen of professors and other students. So i will need some way to handle this mess.

Features i'm looking for

  • Search and indexing integrated with windows indexer (Windows 7 x64)
  • Previews/thumbnails of documents in windows explorer
  • Fast reader (most importantly renderspeed when scrolling)
  • Reader that can add comments, highlights, etc to ANY document
  • Other. What pdf-tool can't you live without? How do you work with PDF documents?

There are several tools out there that claim they can do this but none of them work as promised, especially not on x64.

Adobe has an x64 indexer but i tried to install it and rebuild my index but it didn't index a single document. I tried the Foxit indexer instead but only pdfs i've been able to index with that is the ones i export myself from office 2007, no pdf i've downloaded is searchable from explorer.

From what i've understood explorer-previews should be installed automatically with the Adobe Reader but it only seems to work on x86.

I'm currently using PDF X-Change as reader because it's the fastest reader i've tried and it can add comments to most documents. But some documents can't be commented because "commenting has not been enabled on this document". I can't ask every single person on earth to save their files with "commenting enabled" (which btw requires some pro version of adobes creator). I need to be able to comment EVERY document even if comments hasn't been enabled. Foxit and PDF X-Change can do this to some documents but some just don't work. I think it has something to do with the version of the pdf-document.

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2 Answers

As for the reader, I don't think there's a faster one than Foxit Reader.

As for the indexer (not sure I'm following you here...) I'd recommend you try Google Desktop. That one should also index your pdf files (Although I guess the default windows desktop search should do that as well?).

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Note that Foxit Reader fails on Unicode file names. Not a show stopper for most people but a bug that keeps me from using it here (and the devs know about it but do nothing, which bothers me even more). As for Windows Search: If you install Adobe Reader you should get PDF searching capabilities too. Doesn't appear to work anymore on Windows 7 or maybe doesn't work with x64 Windows. But I've seen it work, as well as thumbnails for PDF files, though only with the Adobe Reader so far. –  Јοеу Aug 25 '09 at 10:06
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Default windows desktop search requires a so called IFilter for every filetype to be able to index it(unless you want to treat it as plain text) and there is no such preinstalled for pdf-files. The one that adobe bundle with adobe reader is only for x86. There is a special x64 version as separate download but it doesn't work. –  zen Aug 25 '09 at 10:48
    
Just installed and tried the latest version of Foxit(3.1.0.0824). I have several documents that can't be commented with it. :( –  zen Aug 25 '09 at 10:59
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You could also use Mendeley. This is safer for your data privacy and more specialised for pdfs.

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Looks promising, can actually search and comment all files i have tried. It has crashed 2 times during the first 10 minutes though, and it kind of locks you into the program. But it's the best pdf manager i've seen this far. I have to give this a try for a week. –  zen Aug 25 '09 at 11:30
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