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While I can search content via Windows Search on most PDFs, I occasionally come across PDF files with contents that are not searchable; even though they contain regular, selectable/copyable text with no format abnormalities.

An example is the PDF of this article: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23870130 (both the CellPress version and the PMC version have unsearchable contents)

Is there a way to make all such PDFs searchable? Or does one have to use specific solutions for each document? What would these solutions be?

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  1. First of all make sure that Windows search indexing is enabled and that Windows does file content indexing, not just property indexing.
  2. Make sure that .PDF is included in indexed file types enter image description here
  3. Make sure the directory where you store PDF is included in indexed locations list enter image description here
  4. Try restarting SearchIndexer.exe process enter image description here
  5. As a last resort, rebuild index and restart Windows Search service enter image description here

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