App for Searching PDFs that doesn't use the cloud

Hi - I work in a field where security is important. I have a bunch of pdf documents that need to be regularly searched and I’m looking for an inexpensive alternative to something like Devonthink. I have Set App and have tried pdfsearch but find that sometimes its search function is not accurate.

I have Keep It but need an app that doesn’t access the cloud.

Any suggestions?


Haven’t used it, but this app is on SetApp.

Edit: missed the part where you said you’ve already tried it. If you’re comfortable with the command line, there is pdfgrep.

1 Like

What’s the concern? Do you think your search apps might be sending your search results to someone?

Anyway, EagleFiler is Mac-only.

EagleFiler leverages QuickLook and Spotlight in macOS; if Spotlight can find within a file EagleFiler can.

1 Like

Is there a way to cause spotlight to open the file containing the found string and highlight the instances? That might be part of the OP’s requirement. Not sure.

Similar to pdfgrep , ripgrep-all

1 Like

FWIW, the premium version of Evernote has these features - even on files in local folders on your Mac. IF you OCR the files before loading them into EN.

I keep all my financial records in Evernote local folders and can search by account number, etc. The search results in a list of documents but you do have to select a document to see the highlighted instances.

True. The Evernote solution would of course violate the OP’s “doesn’t access the cloud” requirement.

1 Like

Documents in Local EN folders are not synced to the cloud thus the need to OCR the documents prior to importing. So once the account is created it would be possible to use the program on a air-gapped computer.

But granted, the bottom line is what the company/institution considers “the cloud”. For example: Windows 10 will occasionally show you “targeted” ads which means it has to gather behavioral information about the user. And if you have Microsoft Office installed on an internet connected Mac or PC, I have observed that it will connect to up to 16 different MS servers each time you open Excel, Word, etc.

Since “the cloud” is just other people’s computers that could mean you cannot use any computer that connects to the Internet. Things were simpler (but not better) when everyone used sneakernet :slight_smile: