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I just wondered if there is such a thing. For printed sheets of paper I can just browse in a formatter, for digital PDF files I have to either rely on the file name or open each individually.

Is there a program that helps here? Maybe something like a PDF gallery program? Windows or Linux preferred.

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Calibre is a cross-platform ebook management program. It has the ability to show your collection in a gallery. You can filter it in various ways. It offers support for a lot of file types, it is not restricted to just pdf.

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It offers much more so this might not be a perfect fit for your use case. But if you want some more control on your digital archive it's a great match.

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What I miss here is something very basic, search in the PDF files. Also the program forces the user to use its document structure. But apart (as you said, not a perfect match) from that it looks interesting. –  Simon A. Eugster Jun 12 '12 at 20:01

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