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I'm searching this PDF (84 pages) for the word 'software', which appears regularly – but neither Safari or Preview can find it.

If I search for 'soft' it finds instances like "VISSOFT', which is right next to the word 'Software' that it doesn't find. I'm interested to know:

Am I going mad? Is this a replicable problem? (I'm Running on Lion) What can I do about it?

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up vote 3 down vote accepted

It breaks because the "ft" in "Software" is embedded as a ligature between the letters, not as the individual letters. This obviously is a sign of high quality typography, but the readers don't support it when searching.

enter image description here

When you select and copy the word from the PDF, you actually get "So_ware", which you can then paste into the search field to finally get your results.

enter image description here

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Nice... fooled by that beautiful lettering! – Joe Feb 6 '12 at 10:52
How did you create the ft ligature example? – Daniel Beck Feb 6 '12 at 11:23
Wikipedia did ;) @dan – slhck Feb 6 '12 at 11:47

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