• Here's the situation: I have 700 pdf files in one folder (those files have to be there!). Each file contains dozens or hundreds of annontations/comments. Each annotation/comment has keywords to identify a project or a subject.

  • Here's the need: For a given project/subject, gathering in one pdf file all the annotations/comments from all the pdf in that folder, annotations/comments that pertain to this given project.

  • Details: There is two operations here: 1) finding/extracting the annotations/comments; 2) then selecting only the found annotations/comments and summarizing them in a pdf file.

  • Here's the question: Is there a PDF software capable of finding, extracting, selecting and then summarizing the annotations/comments based on a search criteria as a keyword, for example the name of a project?

  • My experience: I tried many softwares, but to no avail. XChange Editor 6 came close. He is able to do the first operation. The Search Pane can display only those annotations/comments based on a given keyword search from all the pdf files (the search can be done within annotations/comments). This is powerful since you can navigate through the found annotions/comments. But, since he is not capable to do the second operation, i.e. selecting and summarizing only those found annotations/comments, I have to redo the search each time I want to work on a given project or subject.

Here's a screenshot to help understand what I mean:

enter image description here

As you can see, I'm using XChange Editor. So, as I said, XChange Editor go half way. To the left, we see the highlighted text in yellow with the pop-up message opens. I add to the first line of the pop-up message the project code 0025 and a subject matter tag/keyword, in that case the tag is 'Frege'. This line is followed by the hightlighted text, which XChange copied automatically in the pop-up message.

To the right, you see the Search Pane. The Search Pane does the first operation as defined by me: finding/extracting the annotations/comments based on a search critetia. In that case, the search criteria is "0025", as you can see in the Advanced Criterion section. This is possible since with the Options... button, I can specify to search only within comments. Below the search options, there is the results. It is really powerful since I can navigate through each comments found by the search engine.

Now, I'd like to gather or summarize those results, those comments, comments that come from many pdf files (each bold line in the result window is a pdf file), in a single pdf file. It is this second operation that XChange Editor is not able to do. And for that matter, none of the existing pdf editor I tried is able to do that. Sure, XChange editor can summarize comments from a single file based on sort criteria (type, author, date, etc.) but not on search criteria (as "0025" in my example).

So, if I may, l'll repeat my question :

Is there a PDF software capable of finding, extracting, selecting and then summarizing the annotations/comments from a bunch of pdf file based on a search criteria, for example the name of a project as "0025" in my case? If it comes to paid solutions, I'm ready to pay up to 10$/year.

Thanks a lot,


  • Izzy change my post. Is it legal ? Commented Jun 27, 2017 at 13:52
  • Yes, on this site everyone is welcomed to improve other people's posts, as long as the spirit of the question is still present and no requirement information is lost. But in this particular case, I am not sure why @Izzy removed the budget information, that seemed relevant.
    – Nicolas Raoul
    Commented Jun 28, 2017 at 2:53
  • 1
    @NicolasRaoul I didn't remove it, I added it (integrated facts from comments). It was Francois himself who removed it again. So you have to ask him why he did so – as I agree with you that's relevant. // Francois: As Nicolas said, we help each other improving. Facts should be contained in the question post itself, as they get lost in comments. About legality: You explicitly agreed to placing your content under a CC license, see the very bottom of this page ;)
    – Izzy
    Commented Jun 28, 2017 at 6:43
  • 1
    PS: Izzy did it again. Izzy & Nicolas are moderators here (as you can tell by the ♦ attached to their nicks), so they take special care for the quality of this site – and, as every community member here, try to help especially newcomers so their questions have the best chances for good answers. Which is why essential details should be visible ;)
    – Izzy
    Commented Jun 28, 2017 at 6:52
  • @Izzy and Raoul Sorry, I didn't understand your way of doing things at StackExchange. This is not a standard approach for most discussion forums. Still, if you can help me anyway. Commented Jun 28, 2017 at 9:54

1 Answer 1


Zotero with pdftotext tools (installs automatically upon request) can perform full-text search, extract annotations, TOC and make reports on a huge database with thousands of PDFs.

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