How to speed up searches on DEVONthink 3.5.1

I understand there are two search functions on DEVONthink: 1) the universal or global search which can live on the toolbar and that searches files across a single or multiple databases; and 2) the search that lives in the inspector pane which searches within an individual document.

My question: How do I speed up the search for #2 (i.e., searching within a document). Compared to #1 (the cross-database global search), pulling research results from #2 is significantly slower – Why is that? And is there a way to speed it up?

My hardware specs are: 16GB Ram, 2.7 GHz Processor in a MacBook Pro 2018. If it helps, my databases are all indexed. Does indexing versus importing make a difference in terms of search?

Thank you.

No, there is no way to speed up in-document searching.

Database-wide searching is querying the indices for the database, allowing for quicker results to be delivered.
In-document searching queries the selected document’s text, providing results to the Search inspector. @cgrunenberg can comment if he wishes but with PDFs - which would be longer documents than others - this search involves the PDFKit framework.

Indexing has no effect on the speed of document searches.

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I ran into this kind of issue with a three volume scanned report, the second volume being the largest at 800 pages.

The solution for me was to run an automator script to break up volume 2 into individual pages, moving those pages into a series of folders based on chapters or sections, and then using the context menu in the Finder to group those pages back into single PDF files.

It was a bit tedious, but I ended up with about 30 documents of around 20-40 pages each.

Not only does the indexed search now locate the relevant section more quickly (instead of always making the entire 800 page volume 2 the top search result - no help at all), when I select the section PDF, the side bar search has much less to deal with and is quicker to preview the hits in that section.

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PDFSearch plays well with “Open With” from Decos and in doing so can be used to search either one file from DT3 or several files.

It is extremely fast.