Apr 28 2010
Good evening, Cleveland. So has anyone ever tried to look up a PDF on the Internet? I know I have. I was trying to track down a sordid piece of work from my past, because I foolishly didn’t save it, and knew it was in PDF form out in the ether. I Googled the title and added “.pdf” in the search box, but to no avail. Furthermore, most of the search results weren’t even PDFs. Thanks a lot, Google.
So now we have TypePDF, a “a free search engine that provides an option to search for and download various PDF documents, data sheets etc.” Their spindly crawlers harvested a huge database PDF files through different open Internet resources such as blogs, forums, and others. This database is regularly checked for file validity so now you can search within more than one million of live PDF files. Why didn’t someone think of this sooner?
The site is pretty simple. Just enter your text at the top and off you go. I entered a term that I thought would be conducive to PDF: “pharmaceutical trials.” Why not? (I foresee this being a cool site for research purposes.) I got a bunch of PDF files to download, and was also referred to other suggested search terms. Pretty simple.
I wasn’t initially sure about the logic behind the search results, and a few of the PDFs seemed somewhat unrelated to my search terms. That said, perhaps a bit more searching specificity should be in order. The home page also lists the most popular tags (ranging from cologne to needlemana to betabeam) leading me to believe the most common users of TypePDF are Fabio and obscure super-heros. You can also check out the latest searches on the bottom, all equally psychedelic.