Reading the Document Imaging Blog about how Google are now indexing PDFs and using OCR to make them searchable made me think about PDFs in general and whether searchable PDFs and other document formats are a good thing for intranets or not. At the moment I guess that search in most intranets doesn’t index PDFs but there are search products out there that will allow you to search all documents in your intranet.
As you can probably guess from the title I come down on the side of not making PDFs and documents searchable within an intranet for the reasons I give below.
I am not against using PDFs, in fact I find them extremely useful. Bundling up content in discrete sets as PDF documents in intranets makes absolute sense in many cases.
The advantages are –