Calibre is an excellent software to load and read EPUB files. We can create a library using EPUB files. However the drawback is it doesn't have full text search.

Abode can create an index and provide a search. However looking for several features which Calibre has.

Does anyone know a good software which loads, reads and searches the entire PDF book, i.e., full text search within seconds (maybe 1 to 3 seconds) and provide results?

The PDFs are not scanned.

OS: Windows. It should be open source.

  • 1
    Search in a single book you've got opened – or across all books in your library? On which OS must it run, what other features do you require?
    – Izzy
    Aug 4, 2017 at 6:06
  • Also what is the source of the PFDs - if they are scanned then any text content for indexing is the result of OCR so low reliability, most print to pdf systems are OK, almost all direct creation systems are fine. Aug 4, 2017 at 7:32
  • not scanned. but actual PDF file...Windows OS
    – Kathir
    Aug 5, 2017 at 11:34
  • Features. 1. Return results within a second 2. Next and Previous hit option 3. Highlight the searched keyword 4. Number of Hits available before doing the search i.e capturing all the keywords once the PDF got imported. 5. Re-building the index whenever it is required - new pdf added or removed. 6. Report Option 7. Platform Independent 8. Open Source 9. Good UI interface
    – Kathir
    Aug 6, 2017 at 2:15
  • You say EPUBs first, then PDFs. You will work with more than one format, or you only need to search the pdfs? Also, will you do something more than find a book (like do an research with those books)? Those things are important, too.
    – flavio
    Sep 10, 2018 at 9:48

3 Answers 3


You can give DocFetcher a chance.
I'm using it to search inside more than 1000 PDF files. The first results appear instantly while all others are found in a few seconds. It can also handle epub and a bunch of other file formats too.

  • 1
    Few seconds is high...Expecting the results should be less than or in a second like google... Sep 9, 2018 at 16:30
  • The speed heavily depends on the computer performance, so maybe it's faster on your machine.
    – csadam
    Sep 9, 2018 at 17:00
  • Even with high speed machine, type-ahead search is slow. Also, the newer version search is different from previous version. Looking for a different tool or software. please suggestion something new to try
    – Kathir
    Sep 11, 2018 at 15:57
  • index it periodically and search with google desktop
    – StefanS
    Sep 14, 2018 at 18:15

Never tried it but Apache Lucene (http://lucene.apache.org/) is often mentioned as engine for fulltext search in very big amounts of text.


Since you already like and use Calibre there are good news: Calibre after version 6.0 (any version after 2022-07-11) has a Full Text search internally implemented

Full Text search

Then, enable indexing for the current library. Once indexing is complete you can search all the text in the full library. When you add new books to the library, they will be automatically indexed in the background. This search allows you to quickly find all books that contain a word or combination of words. You can even search for words that occur near other words, as shown in the examples in the search popup window. calibre can optionally index the full text of books in the library to allow for instant searching of words inside any book. To use this functionality click the FT button at the left edge of the search bar.

enter image description here To access Full Text search dialog box: enter image description here

More on how to use the search in the manual: https://manual.calibre-ebook.com/gui.html#searching-the-full-text-of-all-books

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