Make all SnagIt PDF files Electronically Searchable

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Eric
Huff

Sep 26, 2019, 1:26 PM EDT

I noticed that when I set my preset "Selection" to Panoramic and set "Share" to File and set "Image File Type" to PDF - Adobe Portable Document Format. SnagIt creates the PDF file but the file is not electronically searchable when I have the file open and press Control-F (for find).

Whenever I open other PDF files that were created somewhere else, they are always electronically searchable. All it takes is a software switch to make it searchable when the PDF file is getting created. If you can make the PDF files that SnagIt creates searchable, that would be a tremendous help.

Here is a story you may find interesting... I was president of a board of directors where each of the board members were given a governing document that when printed was about 2 inches thick. Can you imagine how difficult it was to find anything in that printed document. At some later point in time we were given a PDF file of the same document. I was excited at the thought of being able to electronically search the document for any key word of my choosing. Needless to say, I was very disappointed when I learned that the 2 inch document was scanned into a PDF file without the electronic search capability software switch turned on. I requested the document to be re-scanned but this time with the electronic search capability software switch set to "on". My request was honored and all board members received replacement documents but this time they were electronically searchable. What a time saver!

Please consider making all SnagIt PDF files searchable.
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ehuff5248

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Posted 3 months ago

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Rick Stone

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I'm perplexed about this suggestion. Here's why.

SnagIt deals primarily with screen captures. As such, these are simply images. So assuming you have screen captured an image, it seems to me that just the image would end up inside the PDF. So what exactly would you hope to search for?

Further, if it's just a screen grab, it would all be right there in your face inside the PDF viewer, so how would a search help if it existed? 

Or are you screen capturing long passages of text and popping that into the PDF? And if so, why use SnagIt? Why wouldn't one simply drop the text into something like Microsoft Word and create the PDF from that?

Cheers... Rick :)
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ehuff5248

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Hi Rick,

Some of my captures involve capturing a lot of text.  I could copy and paste into Word and create a PDF however sometimes I want to copy text that is sitting beside various graphics such as that found in many articles on the internet so I find that using the scrolling function within SnagIt serves me better.

Eric
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Rick Stone

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Okay, sounds reasonable. However, I would contend that in this case, you might still be better served and have a faster and far more predictable outcome by using Word. Use SnagIt to copy the image and have it in Word, then capture the text separately and add it to word. And as long as things work in Word, I might ponder why the desire for PDF? I mean, Word is searchable like PDF is.

Here's why. When you capture with SnagIt, you end up with an image, no? So if you are also capturing text along with the image, you have to make SnagIt jump through hoops to convert the text you see in the image, back into text that is scanned from the image to make it editable as text again.

Then you have the whole issue that likely only one of the SnagIt developers can answer here effectively. When you create a PDF of an image in SnagIt, does it still treat the editable text differently? So in the PDF that's created, are you able to drag across that text and select it? I'm guessing not. I'm guessing it's all just a flattened image again. So there's the whole aspect of changing SnagIt so it maintains text when you save as a PDF.

So if my suspicions are true, then it would likely require some significant changes to SnagIt to accomplish.

Now this isn't to say it's not possible and that the development team may tackle it at some future point. I mean, they do some pretty incredible things with SnagIt. So I know that anything is possible. And it's always interesting to say the least, to see what emerges in new releases of TechSmith software.

Cheers... Rick :)
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jasons

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The 200 page "PDF" files you are referring were obviously CREATED with a PDF program for them to be so easily changed with the flip of a switch (setting) as you said.

The "PDF" setting to save in snagit as "PDF" (mypage.pdf)  saves it as a "snapshot" of the page which is an image that cannot be searched.

EDIT 09/27/2019 1:00:55 PM: What Rick said LOL! 


(Edited)
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ehuff5248

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Hi Jason,

The PDF files to which I referred were not created with a PDF program.  They were scanned in with a scanner.  There was a software switch in the scanner software that makes the text searchable.  Without that switch turned on, the product of the scan is an image (which is not searchable) and hence the reason for my suggestion to make all PDF's text searchable.

Eric
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Rick Stone

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Not to thrash a dead equine here, but I'm curious to know how effective that was. Because that "switch" likely just enabled some OCR option, right?

Did you notice lots of misspelled words and suchlike?
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jasons

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@ehuff5248
Hi Eric,

Regarding your last post directed to me above;
The "scanner" software was used so I  reiterate my original post above.

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JL1

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Indeed. The Search feature in PDF files applies only to text.
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Ed Covney

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What is the source document that you scan? Is it available in a formatted or unformatted text form?  Or rather than "scanning it" which creates a graphic, could you copy and paste text directly from the source and into word or??
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JL1

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TechSmith current approach to text recognition is a kludge, which uses OCR rather than going into the screen driver and capturing the text, like (I presume) it used to do a long time ago. The way the current implementation works, one should not be optimistic about TS adding the feature you want. To say nothing about feature which have been requested on this forum, by users, for years, with at times hundred of votes, and which remain ignored version after version.

When I want to save text and graphics from a web page, I simply right-click on that page and select "Save as" which, depending on the browser, may provide several choices but, at any rate, saving as an html file provides a file which can be opened in Word (or any simple text editor for that matter) and then can be saved as PDF, if that format is really needed, which can be made searchable since it will contain text.

Of course, this approach does not work for 100% of web sites, what with those which disable right-clicking and those which use Flash.

Still, that approach is simple, effective and useful, and the original poster will get searchable data, which can be shared with better legibility than a screen shot of small type size, as is way too common.

Why attempt to use a tool (SnagIt) for something it is not designed to do, when there are easier ways to achieve what one needs?
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Ed Covney

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I just flew to a new level of respect for Snagit's "Grab Text".   What I grabbed:


And the text I got:
of Internal Affairs, Avakov, took steps aimed at preventing DF‘s return to
Ukraine. They resorted to extreme and desperate measures to do this. Indeed:
i) I found out from speeches given by the Minister of the Internal Affairs.
Avakov, which were published in the media that the internal affairs
authorities had been investigating three criminal cases, under which
criminal charges could have been brought against DF. The media
on to report that if DF returned to the Ukraine he could have
detained and arrested. However, this was merely a pretext to
further action aimed at stopping DF from coming to Ukraine:

and Word formatted it perfectly, indentions and paragraph numbering. 

(Edited)
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Rick Stone

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They did the intelligent thing and licensed the functionality.