bug searching pdfs


When searching a pdf for a word containing the ligature “ff” in DevonThink and, of course, also Preview, nothing is found. The pdf is my own document and includes the word “toffee”; yet a search for this word in DT and Preview under Leopard turns up nothing, even when I can see the word on the screen,

Everything was fine with the old version of Preview (i.e., before Leopard). I am not sure if it used to work with DevonThink, but it certainly doesn’t now.

Does anyone know why this is? How can it be fixed?


Oh, come on now, Steve Jobs. First it was the Newton, and now it’s ligatures. :slight_smile:

Did you search in the database (e.g. via the toolbar or via Tools > Search) or just in this document (via Edit > Find > Find…)?

You could select the word, copy it and paste it to TextEdit. Or convert the document to plain text to check if everything’s right.

Thanks for your useful reply.

I tried both ways of searching, but no luck. Moreover, it seems that the problem now affects 10.4.11.

Moreover, the problem is not limited to ligatures. Unicode diacritics such as ā ī ū ō ś ṣ no longer seem to come up in searches.

Certainly I understand that I can find what I need manually and paste the bastardized diacritic in to search, but does this not defeat the entire concept of searching in pdfs? At least for one whose work contains many non-English words, the inability to find exactly what one has just typed is problematic.

Please tell me I am imagining this.


The problem might be specific to certain PDF documents. Just send one or more examples to our support address and we’ll check what’s causing the troubles. Thanks!