Indexing pdf documents with Adobe Reader v.8 and MOSS 2007

The version 8 of the adobe reader has some significant architectural changes (for the better of course) including an inbuilt IFilter to index PDF documents. Previously the adobe IFilter was available as a seperate download. This new change in architecture compromised the ability to search pdf documents from within MOSS 2007. However, the pdf filter works fine with WDS 3.0 . While many consultants recommend that if we're to index pdf documents through MOSS 2007, we use the the v.6 of adobe IFilter and if we want to index pdf documents through WDS 3.0 or higher, we use the v.8 of adobe reader. But what if we wanted to index pdf documents using both WDS and MOSS 2007?!!! Here's how you can use MOSS 2007 with adobe reader v.8, the version currently patronized by WDS:)

1. Download Adobe Reader v.8 .

2. Add the filter-extension to the File types crawled:

Start -> Program -> Microsoft Office Server -> SharePoint 3.0 Central Administration  -> <Name of SharedService Provider> -> Search Settings -> File Types -> New File Type (Add extension  pdf here)

3. Modify the following Registry keys by changing their "Default" value to the new CLSID of the Adobe IFilter:  {E8978DA6-047F-4E3D-9C78-CDBE46041603}



Default --> {E8978DA6-047F-4E3D-9C78-CDBE46041603}


                HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Shared Tools\Web Server                          


Default --> {E8978DA6-047F-4E3D-9C78-CDBE46041603}

4.  Add the Installation directory of the Adobe Reader v.8 to the System Path. For example, if the Reader is installed on "D:\Program  Files\Adobe", then add "D:\Program Files\Adobe\Reader 8.0\Reader" to the system path by:

           --> Right Click on My Computer -> Properties -> Advanced -> Environment Variables -> Path (Under System Variables) -> Edit -> (Add "D:\Program Files\Adobe\Reader 8.0\Reader").


This effectively tells the adobe IFilter where to pick up the dependent DLLs.


5. Recycle the search service: > net stop osearch

                                                            > net start osearch


6. Walla! Now we can crawl and search PDF documents with v.8 Reader.

Comments (82)
  1. dmurillo says:

    Do you know if Adobe has an IFilter implementation for 64-bit OS’s (XP, 2K3, Vista)?

  2. Igor Macori says:

    Grazie alla provvidenziale segnalazione di Claudio , nonostante il titolo del post potrebbe entusiasmare

  3. Deb Haldar says:

    Adobe is working on getting a 64 bit version of IFilter out. We don’t have any ETA at this point though.

  4. Marcovanschagen says:

    Would there be info avaiable on how to develop 64 bit versions? I’d like to adjust our (3rd party) DWG IFilter when possible.

  5. Deb Haldar says:

    The procedure is exactly the same if you’re using Visual Studio. However, your document parsing libraries might have different requirements for 32 and 64 bit. For example, if using the interop to call unmanaged code, the layout(offset) of propspec structures might need to be modified.In the end, the requirements vary for different implementations.

  6. David Gilbert says:

    I followed all the steps, but this registry entry does not exist:


    The other two were there.




  7. Mike Walsh says:

    What’s "WDS 3.0" ?

    and more importantly will this method also work with WSS 3.0 or only with MOSS 2007 ?

  8. Deb Haldar says:

    Dave, the key should exist. I tried it on the following config on a couple of machines.

    OS: Win2k3 SP2

    MOSS 2007 standalone config.

    However, I’ll double check and update the article if necessary.

  9. Deb Haldar says:

    Mike, WDS refers to Windows Desktop Search.

    I haven’t personally tried it on WSS but the same strategy should work. After installing WSS , just replace the old CLSID of pdf ifilter with the new one.Then try to index the pdf files. Also, it’s very likely that you’d need to add adobe installation directory to system path.

  10. Definitely worth a read… Indexing pdf documents with Adobe Reader v.8 and MOSS 2007 The version 8 of

  11. Robert Bradford says:

    Any contact at Adobe to get on a mailing list or something for the availability of the 64-bit iFilter?  We talked to 6 folks at Adobe today all of whom had (a)never heard of iFilters and (b) never heard of MOSS including their management.  The perils of being a semi-early adopter of a new technology, I suppose.  Thanks in advance for any guidance.

    Cheers – RHB

  12. Deb Haldar says:

    Robert, our management is talking to Adobe to expedite the release. Unfortunately, staff members (such as myself) do not have contact info for Adobe folks in charge of ifilters.

  13. Susan C says:

    This registry entry does not exist on my server either:


    The other two were there.

  14. Deb Haldar says:

    Susan, David, thank you for pointing this out. The machine I used for debugging had some weird installations on it.

    I’ve corrected the article accordingly.

  15. I’ve been through many conversations that ended with… Ok, if we only knew how large the files were

  16. Danny says:

    Is the new iFilter in Adobe Acrobat Professional 8.0 as well? Meaning, must I download the Reader even though I have Professional installed to get the new 8.0 iFilter in order to search with WDS?

  17. Deb Haldar says:

    Danny, the ifilter ships with both the reader and professional. However, note that the filter in professional(and reader) 8.0 only works with WDS 3.0 and up.

  18. Tom says:

    What is WDS??

    When is a 64-bit Adobe PDF IFilter coming out??

    Thank you, Tom

  19. Deb Haldar says:

    WDS refers to Windows Desktop Search.

    Tom, you can find a 64 bit PDF IFilter from FOXIT software. See the blog entry under:



  20. Peter De Meester says:

    I tried the approach on a WSS v3, and it works. Thanks for the CLSID-tip!!


  21. Jens says:

    Hi, have installed Adobe Acrobat 8 on the Server and the following tasks 2..5, but the pdf icon is not visible and the pdf content is still not searchable. Do I have to start a full crawl before I can search for? Or do I have a chance to check the installation?

    Thanks in advance,


  22. Deb Haldar says:

    Jens, you’ll need a full crawl for the PDF contents to be indexed.



  23. Michael says:

    I have followed the instructions above and then crawled our Corporate Intranet hr page (not migrated to MOSS 2007 yet).  The results of all the PDF docs fail as follows:

    The filtering process could not load the item. This is possibly caused by an unrecognized item format or item corruption.

    I have checked the PATH, the reg entries etc.   I have even rebooted the server.  Deleted teh index and recrawled etc.  Thoughts on how to troubleshoot?

    I have a single MOSS server but the DB is on another box (SQL 2000 for now).



  24. Deb Haldar says:


    From the failure message it seems like the search process could not pick up the filter.

    Usually in cases like this,the easiest thing to do is use ifilttst/filtdump and try to filter a PDF file from command line.

    If that does not work, try the following:

    ->Recycle the search service

    ->Launch regmon and set a filter on *pdf*

    ->Launch filemon and set a filter on *pdf*

    -> Start the crawl and try to see which registry keys/Files are being accessed. This should give you a clear idea of the COM registry calls made as well as if dependent DLLs are failing to load with V.8 reader.



  25. Deb Haldar says:

    Also, folks, we recently ran some perf tests on the FOXIT pdf ifilter vs the adobe pdf filter and the former provided much better results. So my recommendation at this point is to switch to FOXIT ifilter instead of using the complex workarounds with adobe ifilter.

  26. Michael says:

    Deb –

    Thanks for the tip.  For some reason, using the ifilter explorer from Foxit’s site, I saw for some reason, my adobe 8.0 wasn’t registering properly.  At your suggestion, I tried Foxit’s pdf filter, made the registry change and voila my filter worked.

    Thanks a bunch!

  27. evald says:

    Hi !

    i have SP(sharepoint 2007) installed on a windows server 2003 64 bit ed.

    The database(SQL Server 2005) is on another machine windows server 2003 32bit ed.

    both SO and sql server are updated.

    the full text is working but not on pdf document. the are not being indexed.

    i have added the file type on SP and installed the IFilter 6.0 from adobe, on both server but it is not working.

    any idea


  28. Deb Haldar says:

    If your MOSS 2007 is 64 bit, you cannot use the adobe filter as it is a 32 bit binary and our 64 bit filtering process cannot load a 32 bit binary.

    In that case, please use the 64 bit FOXIT ifilter. (See blog post on FOXIT).



  29. FG says:

    Fix PDF in search of WSSS 3.0 and MOSS 2007 – Install Acrobat Reader 8 on the Sharepoint Webserver –

  30. Carl says:

    Great article. However, if you start a new sharepoint service one step is missing to allow for the icon to show up.

    This step is refered in this article:

  31. Gus says:

    I followed the steps and I can search PDFs that have already been OCR’d. When I run paper through my copier and create a PDF file, all I get is an image which is not searchable. Should this filter perform the OCR on the image when it is indexed and make the file searchable?

  32. pbruss says:


    I have W2K3 EE, SQL2005 Std, MOSS 2007, Adobe Reader 8.1. Tried these steps (numerous times) and the Crawl logs always tell me:

    ‘crawled (the filtering process could not process this item. This might be because you do not have the latest file filter for this type of item. install the corresponding filter and retry your crawl.’

    Before i rip out Adobe 8.1 and revert to an earlier version is there any other areas you can think of that would point towards the problem. Thanks much.


  33. Victor S says:

    As much as MOSS is being deployed all over the world right now, I am suprised at how little information is available on this subject.

    There needs to be an official Knowledge Base article from Microsoft that documents EXACT steps on getting the ifliter installed.

    I am still not clear what it the best route to go with 32 bit MOSS deployment ifilter6.0, or Reader 8?

    This was a pain in 2003 and still is the pain in 2007, common people…

  34. Victor S says:

    I spoke with Lawrence Liu during SPUG in Midtown Manhattan and he was not aware that this is an option. Let’s get a KB out there shall we?

  35. Deb Haldar says:

    Victor, please make a request to MS Product Management (Lawrence’s team) and once we receive the request from them, we can start the process.

    The other alternative is to contact MS product support and file the request with them.



  36. Alex Kuzmin says:

    Hi, Deb!

    In 3rd step changing default value for key HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINESOFTWAREMicrosoftShared ToolsWeb Server Extensions12.0SearchSetupContentIndexCommonFiltersExtension.pdf not required for MOSS, it’s only needed for WSS.

    WBR, Alex.

  37. Maintenant que le search fonctionne bien, il faut savoir s’outiller pour bien l’exploiter, n’est il pas

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  39. Doug Kenrick says:

    Does anyone know if the issue of PDF’s not showing up in search after using the method above is still an open issue? I have MOSS on W2K3 R2 Standard, SQL 2K5 backend, followed the above instructions to index PDF files in MOSS, docs show up in the crawl log but not in search, any suggestions?

  40. John Young says:

    Tried using the PDF iFilter (ala V8.1) through a simple test program and the "text" portion of the PDF document is not returned, although attributes are.  We are using the GetChunk method of the iFilter interace.  This works fine with iFilter 6.0 (but is problematic as we all know). perating on XP Prof (withour WDS).

    Any ideas?

  41. Marcovanschagen says:


    You need to use the GetText also. In general this will contain the bulk of the text. You may need to create a loop to create a series of GetText calls to receive all of the contents.

    I am talking general IFilter specs as I have built the DWG IFilter, not PDF.

    Good luck.

  42. jerome says:

    Hi all

    Do you have any solution to install on a WSS v3 farm on w2k3 64 bit the new PDF ifilter 8 ?

    I have try the solution describe on adobe lab site but it doesn’t work

    if someone has successfuly install it, please let me know



  43. says:

    Manche Dinge brauchen ja so ihre Zeit zum Reifen, deshalb kurz zur Vorgeschichte (zusammengefasste Anleitung

  44. says:

    A couple of months ago I migrated a friend’s SPS 2003 to MOSS 2007. On that day I realized that MS skipped

  45. says:

    I was able to get the pdf’s to index on a 64 bit server following this article:

  46. Pwa says:

    One thing is still not clear for me : on an installation with MOSS and SQL on 2 separate servers, what should be installed on each machine ?

  47. Kumu says:

    Is there any document that tells me how to install adobe 8 filter on SQL server 2005? Thanks

  48. Deb Haldar says:

    Pwa, you should install the Adobe Reader (which contains the iFilter) on the indexer (MOSS) box.



  49. Matt says:

    I have tried all of the above steps but I am only getting 1 pdf showing up when I do a search that should be showing at least 5.  This is on WSS 3.0.  Has anyone seen this happen?

  50. f00 says:

    thought I would post a link to adobe’s instructions for 64 bit ifilter:

  51. Tom Vervoort says:

    Thank you, this was exactly the information I was looking for. I tried some different ‘solutions’ I found on the net, but none of them worked. After reading this article, PDF indexing was setup in less than 2 minutes. 🙂

  52. Prashanth says:

    We have installed Adobe iFilter v6.0 on our MOSS 2007 server. However, we are not able to index and search on PDF metadata such as Title, Author, Subject & Keywords. When we tried the Foxit iFilter, it was able to search on Title & Author, but not on Subject & Keyword. When we contacted Foxit Support, they informed us that they supported only Title & Author in the current release, and that Subject & Keyword would be supported only in the next release, due in the first half of 2008. Does the Adobe iFilter support metadata search? Any pointers would be useful.

  53. Eric says:

    Thanks foo! That worked perfectly.

    The only thing not in Adobe’s article is how to add the pdf icon to SharePoint…still looking for that.

  54. Thant says:


    Can anybody help me on this?

    I am testing Microsoft SharePoint Server 2007 particularly on Document Management area.

    My setup is I installed everything (SharePoint Server and SQL Server) on one PC.

    I’ve installed the Adobe IFilter ver 6.0 and configured the Registry and SharePoint Search setting as Deb Haldar suggested.

    See the link below.

    Unfortunately, my PDF file search doesn’t work.

    All the other file type such as Doc, Excel and Text files work fine except PDF file.

    Although, I can see those PDF files in the Crawl log, their content don’t return in my search result page.

    I am stuck over two days on this problem and will be greatly appreciate for any input.

    Thank you so much in advance.

  55. MaBerY says:

    I was having the same problems usinf the Acrobat 8.1 supplied Ifilter on one of our 2 farms.

    I got the first one working and upgraded to SP1 afterwards.

    The second one was a vanilla install of MOS 2007 SP1 and I tried to install the acrobat 8.1 reader supplied IFilter.

    It dit not work. I tried running the IFilter

    on the commandline ifilttst.exe and that worked OK. The filter on a PDF file left an output log file with keywords.

    In the crawl log I found entries on the pdf files finding them but failing to start the PDF Ifilter

    I was about to give up and move back to the 6.0 IFilter, but I did some final checks in the registry.

    For some reasons there seems to exist a registry entry for the 6.0 Adobe IFilter GUID

    in SP1.

    HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINESOFTWAREMicrosoftShared ToolsWeb Server Extensions12.0SearchSetupFilters.pdf

    It listed a default of {4C904448-74A9-11D0-AF6E-00C04FD8DC02}, which is a 6.0 IFilter value.

    I changed that into {E8978DA6-047F-4E3D-9C78-CDBE46041603} and resterted the search service and did a full crawl. Then it started working

    After googling on the 6.0 guid I found a MS KB article describing the same symptoms for the Foxit Ifilter, but it also applies to the Acrobat 8.1 filter

    I would recommend to check the citeknet Ifilter explorer at

  56. Anil says:

    i tried your steps.

    But still i m not able to search inside pdf

  57. Javed says:

    I am facing same problem as John is. I have Adobe 8 Ifilter named AcroRdIF.dll.

    I am able to load the filter using LoadIFilter and  then I called Init() which succeeded. But When I use GetChunK() it is not initializing the STAT_CHUNK structure and returning FILTER_E_END_OF_CHUNKS.

    ANy Idea please

  58. Kazim Raza says:

    I first add the ICON FILE and its mapping at all servers including Indexing Server and Front End Servers then added the file type from MOSS 2007 SSP administration Search Site.

    When I Upload a new document I can see the PDF ICON with it.

    Now I have installed Adobe PDF Ifilter on my indexing server (All Servers are 32 Bit).

    None of my search results show anything from the PDF content.

    I followed this article :

    To configure it on my MOSS 2007 FARM.

    Please suggest some solution.


  59. farad says:

    anyone got the filter (adobe pdf filtershipped with adobe reader 8 or 9) working with Win2003 server web edition x64? we don’t get it installed, it comes with an error on installing the filter (running the .cmd file)

  60. farad says:

    ok web edition is 32-bit… but does it support installation of an ifilter and specifically, Adobe’s PDF IFilter?

  61. Ce genre de post existe déja mais je préfère en faire un pour le retrouver plus aisément quand le besoin

  62. Dan Perry says:

    Will Adobe Reader 9.0 also work in this fashion?

  63. Mike Ruhl says:

    Adobe PDF iFilter 9 for instructions x32 or 64-bit platforms

    Download x64

    1. Install Adobe PDF iFilter 9 for 64-bit platforms.

    2. Verify that PDF has been added to the registry.

    a. Run Regedit by browsing to c:Windowssystem32regedt32.exe and double-clicking it.

    b. Within left-side tree, browse to: \HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINESOFTWAREMicrosoftOffice Server12.0SearchApplications{site GUID}GatherPortal_ContentExtensionsExtensionList

    c. If PDF extension is present, skip to Step 3 . If PDF extension is not present, continue with Step d.

    d. Right click on right-side Extension List pane and choose New > String Value

    e. Add a name to the new Registry Key (e.g. “38”)

    f. Double click the new Registry Key. For “Value data”, enter “pdf”

    Note: This can also be achieved via SharePoint Server Search Administration page by adding ‘pdf’ to list of File Types in Search Administration->File Types. This would automatically add an entry for ‘pdf’ filetype as mentioned above in step 1

    3. Verify that PDF has the correct settings in a second registry location.

    a. While still in Regedit, within the left-side tree, browse to: \HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINESOFTWAREMicrosoftOffice Server12.0SearchSetupFilters.pdf

    b. Verify the following values. If values are not as shown, edit them.

    i. <REG_SZ> Default = <value not set>

    ii. <REG_SZ> Extension = pdf

    iii. <REG_DWORD> FileTypeBucket = 1

    iv. <REG_SZ> MimeTypes = application/pdf

    4. Verify that PDF has the correct settings in a third registry location.

    a. While still in RegEdit, within the left-side tree, browse to: \HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINESOFTWAREMicrosoftOffice Server12.0SearchSetupContentIndexCommonFiltersExtension.pdf

    b. Verify the following values. If values are not as shown, edit them.

    i. <REG_MULTI_SZ> Default = {E8978DA6-047F-4E3D-9C78-CDBE46041603}

    Adobe forgot this too:

    HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINESOFTWAREMicrosoftShared ToolsWeb Server                          


    Default –> {E8978DA6-047F-4E3D-9C78-CDBE46041603} only have to change the sid

    5. Verify that pdf.gif is present at the following location:

    C:Program FilesCommon FilesMicrosoft Sharedweb server extensions12TEMPLATEIMAGES

    **my installation never installed the pdf.gif icon, I used mine from ifilter 6 installation

    6. Add an entry in docicon.xml for the pdf icon:

    C:Program FilesCommon FilesMicrosoft SharedWeb Server Extensions12TEMPLATEXML

    <Mapping Key="pdf" Value=".gif"/> -adobe forgot to add the “/” took me two days to figure it out!!

    Note: Step 4 & 5 are done in order to have the pdf icon in SharePoint while it displays the search results.

    7. Restart all SharePoint services as well as IIS.

    a. Launch the DOS Shell (Start > All Programs > Accessories > Command Prompt).

    b. Type the following at the prompt: “net stop osearch”. Wait for success message.

    c. Type the following at the prompt: “net start osearch”. Wait for success message.

    d. Type the following at the prompt: “iisreset”. Wait for success message.

  64. TP says:

    I am not able to index the title of pdf documents.It is present in the summary portion of the document. Any pointers on that will be really helpful.


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  66. says:

    The Adobe 9 IFilter instructions didn’t mention the step to point the Path variable to the Adobe 9 install directory. So, don’t forget to do it.

    Right Click on My Computer -> Properties -> Advanced -> Environment Variables -> Path (Under System Variables) -> Edit -> (Add "D:Program FilesAdobeReader 9.0Reader").

  67. Heiko says:


    two questions.

    Are Adobe ifilter and the reader needed on the server or only the iFilter ?

    I saw some blogs MS desktop search is required on the server . I this correct ?

    Best regards,


  68. TP says:

    Hi , I was previously using Abode iFilter but its was not able to index the document’s title and author.We switched over to Foxit iFilter and our problem got solved. Actually we needed to display the title in search results.

      Hope it helps someone out here

  69. jr says:

    I have followed all of the instructions but the pdf content is still not being indexed.  Enviroment- Windows Server 2008, moss 2007 enterprise, adobe 9.1

    Thanks for your help

  70. Note: The steps mentioned below are as per suggested by Microsoft. Please refer to links below for appropriate

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  76. chuck salvo says:

    If your still having issues, make sure that you activate the Office Server Enterprise Search from central admin from

    Central Administration > Application Management > Manage Web Application Features    

  77. Mrin says:

    Hi ,

    I am a SharePoint Developer and working on a project where Clients wants to Index the content Inside PDF documents. I don’t have much experience with SharePoint Search but I can understand Using Ifilter I can search content inside PDF document.

    I am using 64 bit windows 2008 server (MOSS 2007  and have Enterprise Search) and I am aware Ifilter version 9 is available. Can you give me few tips please? Should I install new version of IFilter? If yes do I need to change the Registry the same way you explain? or something new I have to do? Do I need to have latest version of Adobe If I use Latest Ifilter on server or doesn’t matter of client’s machine’s version?

    I will really appreciate if you can reply me. It will help me a lot.

    Thanks a lot.



  78. If I have multiple server farm, where I should install iFilter? On index or application or each front-end or DB layer?

  79. Stephan Reitz says:


    what about iFilter 64 bit and SharePoint 2010?

    I tried it, the filter does not create the necessary registry entries…


    Kind regards


  80. prateet sinha says:

    is a full crawl essential after configuring the pdf filter. can i not just run an incremental crawl?

  81. SPMaster says:

    iFilter SharePoint 2007 instructions…/configuring_pdf_ifilter_for_ms_sharepoint_2007.pdf

    AdobeX and SharePoint 2010 instructions…/cpsid_86901.html

    Have a good day!

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