Search for PDF Documents with the Fastest PDF IFilter on the Market

Say you’ve got lots of PDF documents. Like, Library-of-Congress lots. And within some of those PDF documents somewhere is precious information you’re searching for. It could be the key details for closing your next big deal. Or the evidence that supports your argument in a litigation case. Or the secret ingredient in your friend’s grandmother’s prize-winning chili recipe.

What can you do to speed up the process for searching through all those PDF files? You can use a PDF IFilter.

Why PDF IFilter?

A PDF IFilter is really a plug-in that lets Microsoft search engines index PDF files so that you can search them for that precious chili ingredient. Without an appropriate PDF IFilter, you can’t index the contents of a PDF file, which means you can’t search it.   This is especially valuable since PDF is the most commonly used file format to archive documents and forms.

Also, PDF IFilters are very useful since they’re integrated into Microsoft search, so they provide search results for multiple file formats at the same time.  Which means, if the evidence that supports the closing of your next big deal is located in different file formats (like .doc, .docx, .xls, .ppt, etc.), you can get all these files returned in a single search.

Why Foxit PDF IFilter?

Foxit PDF IFilter provides super-fast indexing, even for a huge number of PDF documents, and then lets you quickly find desired documents by specifying search criteria. Built on Microsoft’s IFilter indexing interface, Foxit PDF IFilter extracts data from PDF documents and returns the index results to search engine software.

It goes beyond what Adobe® does by indexing PDF content, titles, subjects, authors, keywords, PDF portfolios, annotations, text and data from forms (both standard PDF and XFA forms), bookmarks, attachments, create time/date, number of pages, and the names of the creating applications. This gives you more accurate search results.

Best of all, Foxit PDF IFilter can handle virtually any type of PDF document—files, email attachments, even annotations.

You can search your indexed PDF documents on your desktop, corporate server, or online. All you need are the right keywords.

Governments and enterprises favor Foxit PDF IFilter because:

  • It supports multi-threading and makes full use of multi-CPU/core in a server
  • It supports native 64-bit code
  • It’s faster than all other PDF IFilters
  • It supports most languages
  • Its performance and scalability lowers your organization’s costs of server hardware, data center floor space, power and cooling, and administration.

What’s more, Foxit PDF IFilter supports PDF 1.7 specification and can be used with your existing PDF files.  It supports Microsoft search engines, such as Windows Indexing Service, MSN Desktop Search, Internet Information Server, SharePoint Portal Server, Windows SharePoint Services (WSS), Site Server, Exchange Server, and SQL Server. With Foxit PDF IFilter, all these search engines can find PDF files with ease.

So the next time you’re staring down a haystack of PDF documents looking for the veritable needle you need, consider putting Foxit PDF IFilter to work for you. There’s a free 30-day trial in it for you if you do.


Your Guide to Accessible PDF

You may tend to think about accessibility in terms of providing closer parking spaces or including Braille descriptions on elevator panels, but in the computing world, it’s a different matter entirely. What’s more, for anyone doing business with the Federal government—including contractors and businesses—it’s also a legal requirement that means meeting Section 508 Accessibility Compliance standards.

What is Section 508?

Section 508 is a standard for defining accessibility requirements for software and other digital and information technologies. It was enacted to remove barriers in the digital world, to make new opportunities available to those with disabilities, and to spur the development of technologies that will provide them with a more level playing field.

Section 508 establishes requirements for electronic and information technology developed, maintained, procured, or used by the Federal government. In short, it means that Federal agencies’ electronic and information technology should be accessible to people with disabilities.

Section 508 went into effect way back in 2001. Sadly, even as of now, not very many agencies or contractors are in full compliance in terms of general technology access, and the outlook for PDF accessibility is even worse.

Meet the VPAT, your guide to accessible PDF

The good news is, Foxit PhantomPDF provides a way to assess what’s needed to remedy the accessibility issue for your PDF files with the Voluntary Product Accessibility Template, aka, the VPAT.

The VPAT was created by the Information Technology Industry Council and is a standardized form that assists Federal contracting officials in making preliminary assessments regarding a product or service’s features that support accessibility.

The first table of the VPAT gives you an overview of what the section 508 Standards specify. The subsequent tables provide more detailed views of each subsection and also describe the features within PhantomPDF that enable accessibility or refers you to the corresponding detailed table, “e.g., equivalent facilitation.”

Using the VPAT, you can create a roadmap to accessibility for all your PDF documents—both those that already exist and those you’re about to create.

Listen to PDF Documents with Read Out Loud

Even better, as of Version 5.1, Foxit PhantomPDF has offered Read Out Loud that use the available voices installed on a computer user’s system. If they have Speech Application Programming Interface 5 (SAPI 5) installed for text-to-speech, they can have PhantomPDF read PDF documents to them.

In addition to normal text content, Read Out Loud can also read comments, image descriptions, and fillable fields, so it really does do a comprehensive job of making sure that all major sections of your PDF document are truly accessible. This is very important for those who have learning disabilities, as they tend to rely highly on information provided in annotations to help with comprehension.

So if you’re in a business or organization that needs to meet Federal standards for user accessibility, take comfort knowing that Foxit PDF software enables you to provide the PDF accessibility your users need.

European SharePoint Training Week from the 25 – 28 of November

As a Proud Sponsor of the European SharePoint Conference & community we are delighted to inform you of a fantastic free training event.


European SharePoint Training Week ( ) from the 25 – 28 of November will bring together some of the best speakers and trainers from around the world direct to your computer for FREE! With four days of live interactive webinars, educational eBooks, a wide range of unique blogs covering all SharePoint topics, don’t miss this one-off chance to hear the latest cutting edge content on SharePoint 2013 and chat online with these global thought leaders.

Join the European SharePoint Community for this awesome event with seven free live webinars in just 4 days.

With live webinars from Agnes Molnar, Alan Richards, Liam Cleary, Mike Fitzmaurice, Michael Noel Symon Garfield and David Martos, be sure to check out the agenda here>>

On Thursday, 28th Nov, their will have a range of superb eBooks and insightful blogs by some of the leading experts in the SharePoint industry. Contributors include: Edin Kapic, Asif Rehmani, André Vala, Jeff Fried, Wouter van Vugt, Thorbjørn Værp, Geoff Evelyn, Bill Ayers, Eric Riz, Christian Buckley, Paolo Pialorsi, Mikael Svenson, Abi Onifade and Oliver Wirkus.

Don’t Miss European SharePoint Training Week, 25 – 28 November – Register Now>>

When it Makes Sense to Watermark Your PDF Documents

As increasingly diverse kinds of documents get created in PDF, you may find yourself with a need to protect confidential information and you’ve got a lot of PDF security options for doing so.

One such PDF security option is the watermark. You’ve probably seen physical watermarks on everything from legal and government documents to authorized checks. When you want to create a PDF document that can be immediately recognize as containing highly confidential information, you can watermark it similarly to how watermarks work in the non-digital world. And there are good reasons to do so.

For one thing, applying a watermark to your PDF enables you to set up another way to categorize your PDF documents. You can put PDF files that are watermarked instantly into the “for your eyes only” category, distinct from other types of PDF documents that are offered for wider distribution.

Watermarks also offer a step toward safeguarding intellectual property. Not only can you can set PDF security settings to limit activities like printing and making changes, watermarking also prevents recipients from misusing your documents.

Watermarking your PDF document can signify whether the PDF document is a copy or an original, who the company that authorizes a form is, even the kind of PDF document, such as an estimate, invoice, and so on.

Perhaps most important of all, a watermark on your PDF document is hard to miss once you’ve stamped it onto your pages. Whether recipients print the document or simply view it onscreen, a watermark shows the classification of your entire file at a glance, making it an ideal PDF security feature.

That’s important because, sadly, even PDF documents that are protected by Digital Rights Management (DRM) solutions are still at some level of risk. Would-be thieves have been known to use screen shots, cameras, and video capture to make copy of sensitive PDF documents.

Foxit PhantomPDF makes it far less attractive to do so by enabling you to insert dynamic security watermarks into Microsoft Active Directory Rights Management Services (AD RMS) protected PDF documents. A dynamic watermark means the image gets applied automatically as your rights managed PDF document is viewed. Dynamic security watermarks automatically display viewer identity information such as the person’s name, email, employee ID, and the time/date that they’re displaying the protected PDF document. By using a dynamic security watermark, you can pinpoint anyone responsible for a leak of confidential information if copies of the protected documents suddenly start circulating.

Foxit Reader also will display dynamic security watermarks on AD RMS protected PDF documents so you can be sure that even those just using it will be aware of the document’s confidentiality. (Just another reason why Reader is among the best PDF readers available, in our humble opinion. And another reason it’s a secure PDF reader as well.)

So the next time you’re creating a PDF document and want that extra level of security and professionalism, stamp it with a watermark to let anyone viewing it know it’s protected.

When PDF Beats ZIP for Attaching and Extracting Files

Did you know that you can embed any number of file attachments into your PDF file when you use Foxit PhantomPDF? It’s true. And there are a couple of reasons that doing so is better than just zipping up a bunch of files on your PC.

First, anyone who receives your PDF file can extract the attachments and use them with free a PDF reader like Foxit Reader. You can even compress your attachments using the most popular compression method—the same one that ZIP files use. (It’s lossless, which means when decompressed, it’s the same as before you compressed it so no data is lost.)

Another benefit is that when you create this kind of “PDF envelope,” the digital signatures you use can apply to all your attachments automatically since they’re considered part of the PDF file. It’s another helpful PDF security feature organizations such as government agencies and law firms can use to send digitally certified PDF files containing data file attachments. Recipients can then authenticate the PDF and all of its attachments to ensure that they came from the authentic sending organization and are tamper-free.

In addition to those handy features, you can use XML in your PDF file to provide all the metadata—in other words, the additional information that anyone needs to use the data you’ve attached. All they need is a PDF reader like Foxit Reader that can display attachment annotations and extract the attachments.

You can also enhance richly formatted PDF information files with the raw data files that were used to create the PDFs.  For example, if your document contains charts, graphics or other visual information, you can attach the raw data you used to create those elements to your PDF file. Then just put an annotation on your chart or graphic that extracts the right attachment when someone clicks it. This lets recipients view and edit your source files for their own use or when collaborating with you.

Foxit PhantomPDF 6.0 also includes support for PDF portfolios created in other PDF software. A PDF portfolio is a PDF made up of a collection of multiple files, which can include both PDF files and non-PDF files such as Word documents, spreadsheets, presentations, or images. Foxit PhantomPDF can open and read PDF portfolios and perform searches either within a single file or across all PDF files in the portfolio. This means that if someone sends you a PDF portfolio, it essentially acts like a file folder of documents, hence the name PDF portfolio.

When you open a PDF portfolio, you’ll even see a panel that shows you a list of all attached files and any data provided, such as the author’s name, date the file was created, etc. And as discussed, the entire PDF can be secured, including the attachments, by requiring digital signatures or certification.

So the next time your mouse is hovering over the ZIP file compression, take a moment to consider whether it makes more sense to create a PDF with attachments that a) anyone with a PDF reader can view and b) can be secured with digital signatures or certification.

Sign PDF Documents Digitally to Enhance your Business

Signing documents is such an age-old part of our workday that we hardly give it a second thought. And that’s the problem. It’s an age-old process. One that’s hard to manage, verify, secure, and update.

How widespread is it? Studies show that a staggering 80% of all business processes rely on forms, and many of these forms have to be signed. That can result in a costly cascade of follow-ons that includes everything from printing paper documents to delays in delivery that cost time and money.

These and many other reasons are why the digital signature can be a far better option for everyday business operations.

Digital signatures beat handwritten signatures, hands down

Digital signatures in PDF documents and PDF forms capture your John Hancock just like traditional handwritten signatures, only better.

Digital signatures let you use any signature you like—including graphics such as your handwritten signature and company logo, and text like your name, organization, country, and location. But unlike their inky counterparts, they come with an authentication process built right in. That’s because digital signatures store information about who signed the PDF document along with the date, time, and status of the document when they signed it.

What’s more, from a business perspective, by standardizing on digital signatures in your PDF software, your company maintains control over the signing process and the kinds of applications used to sign documents. And you preserve the ability to keep signed documents up-to-date even as technology changes.

Foxit PhantomPDF provides you with three different ways to sign PDF:

  1. Using an image of your own signature.
  2. Using a digital signature, however, you first need to obtain a digital certificate from a reputable third-party certificate authority.
  3. Using an electronic signature, also known as an eSignature, where you can utilize PhantomPDF’s built in integration with DocuSign – a leading eSignature provider.

Not surprisingly, PhantomPDF for Business goes beyond the basics, letting you indicate the level of content approval viewers of your PDF have. It also allows you to specify the types of changes that are permitted for the PDF to remain certified. And it enables you to validate the status of a digital signature in a PDF document you receive so you can determine if the document has been modified since it was signed.

Want even more security? Use digital certification

digital certificate offers an even tighter level of verification and security. It’s used to bind public keys to persons or other entities and is actually signed by a trusted third party.

PhantomPDF for Business lets you certify your PDF documents and specify what changes can be made to the file after you do so. Whenever approved changes are made, the certificate remains valid and intact.

If someone tries to make changes you haven’t allowed, however, the certificate is invalidated. Anyone that views your PDF document afterwards will be notified that the document was tampered with.

So the next time you need to sign documents, consider putting down the pen and cracking open Foxit Reader or PhantomPDF instead. Your carpal tunnel and your business will be the better for it.

SEO for PDF Helps Your Content Get Found

When it comes to optimizing your documents and web pages so that search engines will find them—which means people will find them, boosting traffic to your site—many experts will tell you that HTML is the better way to go. It’s what users are used to. People use it more frequently for web pages. And they embed social sharing in it more often.

That said, you get a lot of benefit out of making your PDFs search-engine friendly. For one thing, if you’ve already got a lot of PDFs on your website, it’s not only time-consuming to replace them; you may be eliminating perfectly good pages that others have already linked to, which is a no-no for SEO.

And if your PDF content is intended to be printed, like brochures or user guides, or even archived, like government and legal documents, turning it into HTML can defeat that purpose.

Instead, it’s wise to put best practices for SEO in PDF in place upfront, right at the time of creation.

The good news is SEO for PDF isn’t difficult. It just requires that you and other PDF file creators follow these steps.

Use best practices for SEO in your PDF files

Most of the practices for good SEO hold true for good SEO for PDF. That includes:

  • Peppering your PDF with internal links to lend it some link juice
  • Linking from your PDF to other web pages on your site and others’ web sites when it makes sense
  • Ensuring you‘ve picked good keywords and placed enough of them in your PDF file
  • Optimizing images in your PDF for SEO by adding alt text, using a good file name, and making the file size quickly loadable

 Keep file size down

Big files take longer to load, which makes people and search engines unhappy. So be sure to use the PDF Optimizer in Foxit PhantomPDF, which lets you compress image files and remove data redundancy to reduce your PDF file size.

Don’t duplicate content

Having both HTML and PDF versions of the same content can be a good idea, but only if you take steps to ensure that search engines don’t view your PDF file as a duplicate of your HTML file. They penalize you for duplication, so check their guidelines for avoiding duplicate content.

Set your document properties

You’ve gone to the trouble to create a nice, easily searchable, keyword-happy title. Now be sure to fill out the Author, Subject, and Keywords document properties. The jury is still out on exactly how they affect SEO, but better not to omit potentially useful information.

Make sure to write-protect your PDF file

By write-protecting your PDF file, you prevent would-be bad guys from downloading it, making changes to it and uploading it to their site.

Take these simple steps for making your PDF files into SEO friendly files and you’ll be in good graces with the search engines. And the users that want to find your content.

PDF Annotate Tools Offer a Superior Way to Add Your Feedback

If you’ve ever had to tell someone where to make changes in a web page, an image, or a nicely laid out document, you’ll appreciate the value and speed of PDF Annotate tools. Here’s why.

Also known as a comment, an annotation is your opportunity to write a note letting anyone viewing the PDF know that you propose changes or need more information.

So, instead of writing, “On this web page, in the second sentence of the third paragraph, under the picture of the cute little puppy”, add the sentence “Our company is committed to cute little puppies,” you can simply convert the page in question into a PDF. Then use PDF annotation to add a tidy little note that not only tells your recipient the change you want, but shows them exactly where you want it.

The best part? Even Foxit Reader offers annotation capabilities. Plus Foxit PhantomPDF™ Standard and Business offer even more.

The Time Saving Benefits of PDF Annotate Tools

Using PDF annotation tools reduce how long it takes you to request changes or highlight important aspects of a document. It also helps eliminate errors caused by illegible or confusing handwritten markups. It enables you to make more use of the easy-to-create-and-archive PDF format. It can even reduce your environmental impact by decreasing the need to print paper. And it decreases wear and tear on the soles of your shoes as you don’t have to use Sneaker Net (aka, walking over to the desk of the recipient to hand them your changes).

Lots of PDF Annotate Choices

You’ve got a wide selection for creating annotations in PhantomPDF. You can type a text message or add a line, circle, or other shape to make comments on the PDFs you’re reading with Foxit PhantomPDF commenting tools. You can also edit, reply, delete, and move the comments with ease. And you can quickly view all the comments in the document in a list, or even import, export, and send comments as a Form Data Format (FDF) attachment via email.

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You can use Text Markup tools to indicate where text should be edited. Text Markups don’t change the actual text in the PDF. Instead, they indicate which text you want deleted, inserted, highlighted or underlined.

You can use the Pin Tool to add comments by adding notes and attaching a file in the document as a comment. That’s very handy if you want the recipient to refer to something in another document and ensure they’ve got it.

You can use the Typewriter Tool to add comments anywhere on a PDF. (Just be aware that this PDF Annotate option doesn’t include your comments in the list that shows all annotations in the PDF.)

You can also work with the Callout Tool and Textbox Tool to create your annotations. Callout text boxes are especially useful when you want to single out (but not obscure) a particular area of a document.

When you use the Textbox Tool to type your comment, it will remain visible on the document page. It doesn’t close like a pop-up note. This can be useful when you want to ensure anyone who opens your PDF sees your comment front and center.

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You can even create annotations using the Drawing Tools to mark up a document with rectangles, ovals, polygons, clouds, arrows, lines, etc. Any of these basic shapes can call attention to the text or area of the document you want to highlight.

Whichever annotation tools you choose, you’ll find PDF annotation is far superior for you and your team when providing feedback or collaborating on documents that rely on layout. It sure beats the ol’ pen, paper and Sneaker Net.

The Basics of PDF Security

Like all things in the Digital Age, there’s a tradeoff between allowing easy access to information and protecting it from prying eyes. This is why there’s a whole spectrum of security options for PDF files available to you when using Foxit PhantomPDF. You can choose everything from using no security at all to applying various levels of password protection, encryption, and even rights management protection. Here’s a primer on how to decide which levels are best for your PDF documents.

Determine what level of PDF security you need

Your first step is to think about the foundational questions used to plot any good movie or book—namely, who, what, where, why, and how.

  • Who is the PDF document you’re creating for?
  • What type of information will your PDF document contain?
  • Where will your PDF document be sent, posted or archived?
  • Why will those accessing the PDF file need it?
  • How will they use your PDF document?

With answers to those questions in mind, it’s easier to decide how sophisticated you go with PDF security.

For example, if your PDF document is a description of your company’s history, you may decide to leave it unsecured and post it online for anyone to read.   On the other hand, if your PDF document is the complete specs for your company’s as-yet unreleased time machine, you may choose RMS security to specify different levels of permission, such as filling in forms, adding comments, printing, editing text, or deleting pages, for different people.

Your PDF security choices include:

  1. No Security, enabling your PDF document to be accessed by anyone with a PDF Reader. This is the default choice for mass distribution.
  2. Password Protection lets you add a password to a PDF document to limit ability to open the file (using a Document Open password) and restrict certain features (using a Permissions password), including:
    • Printing
    • Filling forms
    • Making comments
    • Managing pages and bookmarks
    • Modifying the document
    • Extracting content (such as text or images)
    • Changing encryption, password and security settings
  3. Certificate Protection lets you secure documents with certificates specifying unique permissions for each person. For example, you may allow your employees to fill out forms requesting parts for your company’s time machine in your Time Machine Spec Document PDF, but only you and the executive team are allowed to make changes to text, delete pages or change page order. Certificate protection only permits access to your PDF document by users whose identities can be verified and managed, so make sure everyone’s properly identifiable.
  4. AD RMS Protection (available in Business only) works with Microsoft® Active Directory® Rights Management Services information technology to help safeguard digital information from unauthorized use. Rights management dictates who can access sensitive information, what information they can access, and what operations they are allowed to execute (for example, reading, printing, copying, modifying, etc.).  It improves information security and meet compliance requirements.
  5. Redaction  (available in Business only) allows you to remove sensitive information from your document prior to making it available to others. This is a serious decision, however, because once you redact information, it’s deleted permanently. It’s the PDF equivalent of a crosscut shredder.

No matter which level of PDF Security you choose, you can create security policies that let you apply the same security settings to multiple PDFs, saving you time and effort in the future. Security policies include the security method, encryption password, permission settings, and more.

For full details on all the PDF security features available to you and how to use them, consult Chapter 9 in your handy PhantomPDF User Manual.

Designing Interactive PDF Forms From Scratch

In our last blog article, we covered how to create an interactive form using an already designed non-interactive one.

But suppose you want to create a brand new form from a blank page. And you want it to be an interactive form that users can fill out onscreen. And you want to go on a vacation to a tropical paradise. Well, Foxit PhantomPDF 6 can help you with the first two of these desires.

How To Create Forms From Scratch

You can refer to your PhantomPDF User Manual for full details, of course, but the gist of form creation is simply this.

  • Create a blank PDF from FILE > Create > Blank.
  • Open the blank page with Foxit PhantomPDF, and then add form fields.
  • Add text before or after the form fields by choosing or the Typewriter Tool (see Chapter 7).

Also, PhantomPDF 6 offers a group of tools called Foxit Form Designer that you can use to create interactive forms from the ground up quickly and easily.

Foxit Form Designer Makes Creating Interactive PDF Forms a Snap

With Foxit Form Designer, you can add almost anything you can think of that an interactive form could need, using the following tools: 

  • Push Button creates an interactive form element to initiate predefined actions, such as opening a file, submitting data to a web server, or resetting a form. You can customize this button with images and text.
  • Radio Button presents a group of choices from which the person completing your form can select only one.
  • Check Box presents yes-or-no choices for individual items. If the form contains multiple check boxes, form fillers can select what they want.
  • Combo Box lets the form filler choose an item from a pop-up menu or type in a value.
  • List Box displays a list of options the form filler can select.
  • Text Field lets the form filler type in text, such as name, address, phone number, etc.
  • Signature Field creates a blank digital signature field for reviewers to sign the document.

Chapter 8 in your user manual devotes the bulk of its contents to explaining how to create interactive forms. And you can get pretty fancy, down to using the built-in JavaScript tools to handle number strings, email the completed form to you, even insert the current date or hide certain text fields until the form is printed.

What’s more, interactive forms mean you can capture data more easily. With PhantomPDF Business and JavaScript, you can pull data from your interactive forms into your database. That means less manual data entry, which reduces time, cost and errors.

Come to think of it, with all the timesaving possibilities this offers you, maybe we can help you get closer to that tropical vacation after all.