Building The Index

After you’ve set all the attributes for the index definition, the index file is ready to be created. Clicking the Build button in the New Index Definition dialog box creates indexes. When you click this button, Acrobat Catalog opens the Save Index File dialog box where you supply a filename and target a destination on your hard drive.

The default file extension is .pdx. Do not modify the file extension name. Acrobat recognizes these files when loading search indexes. The location where you instruct Catalog to save your index file can be any location on your hard drive regardless of where the files being indexed reside.

You can choose to save the index file inside or outside the folder that Catalog created during the indexing. Therefore you have an index file and a folder containing index resources. The relationship between the index file and resource folder locations is critical to the usability of the index.

If you move the index file to a different location without moving the supporting folder, the index is rendered unusable. To avoid problems, try to create a folder either when you are in the Save Index File dialog box or before you open Catalog and save your index file to your new folder.

Make the name descriptive and keep the index file together in this folder. When you want to move the index to another directory, another computer, or to an external media cartridge or CD-ROM, copy the folder containing the index and supporting files.

Click the Save button in the Save Index File dialog box, and Catalog closes the Index Definition dialog box, returns you to the Catalog dialog box, and begins to process all the files in the target folder(s). Depending on how many files are indexed, the time to complete the build may be considerable.

Don’t interrupt the processing if you want to complete the index generation. When Catalog finishes the progress bar stops and the last line of text in the Catalog dialog box reads “Index build successful.” If for some reason the build is not successful, you can scroll the window in the Catalog dialog box and view errors reported in the list.

Stopping Builds

If you want to interrupt a build, you can click the Stop button while a build is in progress. When building an index, Catalog opens a file where all the words and markers to the PDF pages are written. When you click the Stop button, Catalog saves the open file to disk and closes it with the indexed items up to the point you stopped the build.

Therefore, the index is usable after stopping a build and you can search for words in the partial index. When you want to resume, you can open the file in Catalog and click the Rebuild button.

Building Existing Indexes

When files are deleted from indexed folders and new files are added to the indexed folders, you’ll want to maintain the index file and update it to reflect any changes. You can open an index file and click Build for a quick update. New files are scanned and added to the index, but the deleted files are marked for deletion without actually deleting the data.

To delete invalid data, you need to use the Purge button. Purging can take a considerable amount of time even on small index files. Therefore, your routine maintenance might be to consistently build a file, and only periodically purge data.

Building Legacy Index Files

When you open an index file created with an Acrobat Catalog version earlier than 6.0, a dialog box opens informing you the index is not compatible with the current version of Acrobat. In the dialog box you have three options: Create copy, Overwrite old index, and Cancel. Click the Create copy button to make a copy of the index file.

A new index file is created leaving the original index file undisturbed. You can click the Overwrite old index button and the file rewrites, replacing the old index. If you choose this option your new index file won’t be compatible with Acrobat viewers earlier than version 6.0.

Clicking Cancel in this dialog box returns you to the Index Selection dialog box, leaving the index file undisturbed. If you create a search index using Acrobat Catalog version 8, the index file is backward-compatible to Acrobat 6. All Acrobat viewers can use index files suited to the appropriate version.

If you know some users won’t be working with the new Acrobat viewers, then be certain to make copies of your index files. Until all users have upgraded to a viewer 6.0 or higher, you may need to organize your indexes according to viewer versions.

If you work in an organization where many users have different versions of Acrobat viewers, then keeping a complete installation of Acrobat 5.05 installed on a separate computer on your network is to your advantage.

If you inadvertently overwrite index files or need to perform some task specifically related to Acrobat versions less than 6.0, you can use the older version to keep compatibility with other users.

In addition, you can test many new files you edit in version 6.0 or higher to ensure they work with viewer versions less than 6.0. Ideally, all your colleagues, coworkers, and clients should upgrade to Acrobat 8.0.

However, in a real world, we know some users are reluctant to let go of the familiar and convincing all users that upgrading Acrobat is the best solution may take some time.

Building Index Files From Secure Documents

In Acrobat versions lower than 6.0 you could not create index files from secure PDFs encrypted with either Acrobat Standard Security or Acrobat Self-Sign Security. Version 6.0 of Acrobat afforded complete access to secure files with Acrobat Catalog if the right permissions were applied.

When applying Password Security in Acrobat 6 through Acrobat 8 you need to enable text access for screen reader devices in order to index a secure file. Creating an index does not compromise your security and doesn’t affect all other permissions you set forth when the files are saved.

If you have legacy files that have been secured, you can index them like other files saved in earlier PDF format compatibilities. These files, and any other files you create with Acrobat Professional, can be used only by Acrobat viewers 6.0 and later.