I’ve just taken DEVONthink for a test drive, so I’m a little excited:
After reading the messages in this forum it’s clear that DEVON is striving toward complete pdf searching in its future versions of DEVONthink. That is, full-content searching, conditional ranking of results, and search-phrase highlighting and navigating within files.
In my opinion the ideal document management solution would use three-staged searching: first, finding and ranking the occurrences of documents containing the search phrase; second, finding and highlighting the search phrase within those documents; third, easily jumping from one occurrence to the next within each document.
Because DEVONthink does most of this for other major document types (text, rtf, Word)–and does so much more, of course!–it now seems to be the most comprehensive Mac software for knowledge management.
Please add my enthusiastic vote for continuing this line of development.
(Need another beta tester?)
PS: Further motivating thoughts:
During the last two decades academic and agency researchers have accumulated countless pdf, Word, and rtf files (journal articles and gray literature). Now pdf files have become the standard for nearly any kind of dissemination and publication. Bibliographic software, such as EndNote or Bookends, can only attach (link) a pdf document to a citation. Consequently it can be found only from its associated text citation, then viewed externally with a viewer (e.g., Acrobat).
In the Mac OS there is no inexpensive way to search pdf content in the way I described. The few applications that can do this are hundreds of dollars, or even $700 in the case of Sonic Professional from Virginia Systems. In my experience Acrobat Pro catalogs are just too fussy, fragile, and nerve racking–in addition to being confined to pdf files.