I have a fully searchable PDF. The PDF was scanned and then converted to text by Fujitsu's ScanSnap Manager #iX500 (W). For those who want all the details, here's the info from Document Properties: PDF Producer (Acrobat 11.0.23 Paper Capture Plug-in), PDF Version 1.6 (Acrobat 7.x). File Size 24.05 MB

None of the PDF's content is showing on a Google Drive search. At first, I thought there may have been an OCR misspelling in my PDF that was not showing up in a correctly typed Google Drive search. But I verified that my PDF did not have an OCR error. For example, while I was in Acrobat, I searched for $143.47. Acrobat highlighted it in a search. But then $143.47 didn't come up on a Google Drive search. So then I started searching for other words in my PDF. They came up. But they didn't show up in Google Drive. I thought maybe my search wasn't coming up because I had a number with decimals. But words within my document didn't show up either.

So then I thought that the PDF must only be on my local computer and didn't sync with Google Drive. But then I verified this wasn't the case after I manually found the file on Google Drive. I Double clicked the file on Google Drive which pulled up a PDF view of the file. While that view was open, I did a search within the PDF document for $143.47, and it showed up highlighted. But when I went back to the Google Drive search, nothing.

I'm very concerned because now I'm thinking, "How many other PDFs is Google Drive not finding?" I rely heavily on Google Drive searches. So if it's not finding all of my content, that is a REALLY big deal for me. Please help!

  • I can confirm this behavior. What's annoying is that Google's Drive Search mechanism likely will find the text if you upload the PDF as a "dumb" PDF without searchable text.. via Google's enigmatic text indexing (which doesn't seem to actually be stored IN the actual file, in any way)... but the minute you use an app to add content via OCR, etc... Google seems to ignore the additional metadata. Booo!
    – alex gray
    Commented Nov 7, 2019 at 13:06
  • I, also, can confirm the behavior. But I've narrowed this problem down a bit, in case it helps someone else figure out the cause. Whenever the PDF is standard or low resolution (instead of high resolution) the search feature works as expected, both in Drive and within the PDF. But when the PDF is high-resolution, search only works within the PDF, and NOT in Drive.
    – user235479
    Commented Dec 31, 2019 at 19:45
  • +1. Have uploaded several dozen catalogues to Google Drive. Out of 41 found by a search in Windows, Google Drive finds only six. This makes Google Drive useless for the purpose (you'd want to be able to search through dozens of catalogues and not forced to download them all). I don't think it's related to resolution as I have for example 7 magazines from the same source with the search string, and Google Drive finds only one.
    – thelawnet
    Commented Feb 23, 2021 at 7:52


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