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Searching words with Ctrl+F in common PDF readers takes sometimes very long.

The time does not correlate with the number of pages, or the number of embedded pictures.

What causes slow fulltext search and how can I improve it in LaTeX documents? Can LaTeX generate an index that improves search functions?

This happens not only in LaTeX documents and is reproducible for specific files. I think the files have more or less efficient structures. A few very slow examples are Springer eBooks, some science papers and some thesis documents.

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closed as off topic by Paul Gaborit, lockstep, Thorsten, Stefan Kottwitz Nov 24 '12 at 10:34

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Does it happen the second time you open the same PDF file? (Not a copy but precisely the same file) – percusse Nov 17 '12 at 16:59
Does this relates specifically to files produced by pdftex or xetex or luatex? – egreg Nov 18 '12 at 17:16
It seems that it depends only on the length and complexity (figures, graphics...) of the PDF document. Then it has nothing to do with the tool used to generate PDF files and I vote to close this question as off topic. – Paul Gaborit Nov 24 '12 at 9:45
As it's a general question regarding the PDF format, it's closed for now. It can be reopened if it would be edited to be more (La)TeX specific, for example if you add a know method to improve PDF full text search in general, and ask how to implement that in LaTeX. Just now it's unclear if there's a PDF search optimization at all. – Stefan Kottwitz Nov 24 '12 at 10:36
@StefanKottwitz There seems to be one. In my Adobe Reader XI, I went to Help, About Adobe Plug-Ins, Search, and there it said: "The Search plug-in serves as a backend for providing search services. It also loads indexes for special documents that contain the AutoIndex key.". No idea how to use/access the AutoIndex key, though. Also, in my (presumably standard) installation, the plugin is not "loaded", so it might not be helpful to the majority of people. Still, a trace perhaps worth following. – doncherry Nov 29 '12 at 6:56