Thursday, April 26, 2007

Workaround: Foxit Reader Find feature not working

I was just using the basic Find feature of the lightweight .pdf document reader Foxit Reader to search for some text in a particular .pdf document. Inexplicably, the Find dialog kept reporting no results found, even though I was sure that the word I was searching on was present in the document.

I tried searching on other words in the document (even common words that I could see in the visible portion of the document on the screen right in front of me, such as "the"), but Foxit kept insisting on finding no results. Finally, out of frustration, I tried searching on a single letter ("a") -- and surprisingly, that did work correctly!

I subsequently figured out that the problem was that Foxit Reader was for whatever reason apparently rendering a tiny space between each pair of letters in each word of the document. So searching on "options" produced no results, but searching on "o p t i o n s" (with a space inserted between each letter) did successfully find each instance of the word "options" in the document.

I'm not sure why Foxit Reader (version 2.0 build 1606) was behaving this way, but at least using this workaround I was able to find what I was searching for. I did try opening the same .pdf document in Adobe Acrobat Reader 7, and I was able to successfully perform searches in the normal manner, without needing to insert spaces between each letter in the word I was searching on.


  1. Yeah, definitely some pretty questionable behavior in what is a pretty major feature of the app.

    Maybe there was just something crazy about the internal composition of the specific document I was looking at, but if I ever run into this again on a different document, that will probably be enough to get me to go back to Acrobat Reader as my default, at least until the bug in Foxit Reader gets fixed!

  2. I'm using Foxit and have the exact same problem. The find function doesn't work properly.

  3. Me too, but only with some docs. Unfortunately these are the latest - that I need to work on NOW.

  4. It seems as if it's some error with the text that makes up the page. If you press Ctrl + 6 on a document that you can search on, it will look like normal text. But if you do it on one that you can't, it's a jumbled mess.

  5. I'm using 5.4.5 and have the same problem. Also, using the "spaces trick" does not work. Also, with CTRL+6 all seems ok...

    With version 4.3 search is OK.

    Very very strange, incredible there is a bug like this...

  6. Still same issue in version


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