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search result for PDF file in Sharepoint

Problem: How to get the search result for PDF file in Sharepoint

Using the SharePoint Search you can find documents based on their filename, metadata or content within a document. By default the content of Office documents is indexed by the SharePoint crawler, but PDF files are not crawled. To add support for PDF files you have to add an IFilter which the SharePoint crawler uses to read through PDF files and add the information to the search index.

To obtain an IFilter for PDF you can purchase the Foxit PDF IFilter from Foxit Software. There is also a free PDF IFilter available from Adobe which does exactly what you need and what this post is all about.


Getting Adobe IFilter 9 to work with SharePoint

In earlier days you were required to download Adobe's IFilter as a separate file. Since Adobe 8.0 it is included within the Adobe Acrobat and Adobe Reader products. The current version of Adobe Reader is 9.0 includes an IFilter that is compatible with the latest PDF implementations.

To enable PDF indexing use the following steps:

  • Download Adobe Reader 9.0, which includes IFilter, from

  • Download the Acrobat PDF Picture, to display in front of PDF search result items, from

  • Add the PDF file type to the Extensions List for WSS search by editing the registry

    • Start regedit

    • Open the key HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Shared Tools\Web Server Extensions\12.0\Search\Applications\{Random GUID}\Gather\Search\Extensions\ExtensionList

    • Add PDF to the list as a new String Value. Use a new high value e.g. if 37 is the highest value, use "38" as the key with the value "pdf"

  • Add the Acrobat PDF picture to the SharePoint templates directory. Copy the Acrobat PDF picture called pdficon_small.gif in the 12 Hive\TEMPLATE\IMAGES folder, e.g. %programfiles%\Common Files\Microsoft Shared\Web Server Extensions\12\TEMPLATE\IMAGES.

  • Bind the Acrobat PDF picture to the PDF file type

    • Open the 12 Hive\TEMPLATE\XML\DOCICON.XML file

    • Find the <DocIcons.ByExtension> part

    • Add the following mapping:
      <mapping Key="pdf" Value="pdficon_small.gif" OpenControl="" />

  • Change IFilter mapping in registry

    • Start regedit

    • Open the key HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Shared Tools\Web Server Extensions\12.0\Search\Setup\ContentIndexCommon\Filters\Extension\

    • Add (or modify) the .pdf key

    • Add a Multi-String value with value {E8978DA6-047F-4E3D-9C78-CDBE46041603} or modify if another GUID value already exists.

    • Open the key HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Office Server\12.0\Search\Setup\ContentIndexCommon\Filters\Extension\

    • Add (or modify) the .pdf key

    • Add a Multi-String value with value {E8978DA6-047F-4E3D-9C78-CDBE46041603} or modify if another GUID value already exists.

  • Add the Adobe Reader folder to the environment path variable

    • Right Click on My Computer

    • Open Properties

    • Open the Advanced tab

    • Go to the Environment variables

    • Edit the Path variable

    • Add your Reader folder to the Path list, e.g. C:\Program Files\Adobe\Reader 9.0\Reader

  • Restart the Search service by restarting your server or executing the following commands:

    • Run: net stop osearch

    • Run: net start osearch

  • Crawl the PDF documents

    • Existing PDF documents that were crawled before the Adobe PDF IFilter has been installed are not indexed during an incremental crawl. You have to edit each existing PDF file to trigger the crawler to reindex the file during an incremental crawl. It´s easier to run a full crawl after you have installed the Adobe PDF IFilter.


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