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Usually I use Notepad++ to search in file(s) using regular expressions. Today I am wondering if there is a PDF program that does the same for PDFs. Of course I could convert the PDF to text and use Notepad++ but is there a more easy way without converting?

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What OS are you using? – Scott McClenning Mar 15 '12 at 5:40
Windows Developer Preview and Windows 7 – gentlesea Mar 15 '12 at 5:41
up vote 7 down vote accepted

several options:

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Both do the job well. Thank you. – gentlesea Mar 15 '12 at 8:08
  1. Agent Ransack is free (lite) and supports PDF as its release notes confirm.
  2. PowerGREP is a commercial product.

Just as you said, the evident alternative is to convert PDFs to text. One way for a programmer to set that up for bulk processing is by using the Python package PDFMiner. Agent Ransack uses "pdftotext" from the Xpdf project (and you can too).

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sidenote: Agent Ransack is the lite version of FileLocator – akira Mar 15 '12 at 6:28
Thanks! I looked more closely. The vendor's release notes confirm that File Locator Lite aka Agent Ransack does support PDF. Editing my answer. – minopret Mar 15 '12 at 6:41
Agent Ransack does the job. You might also want to try DnGrep. – gentlesea Mar 15 '12 at 8:08

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