I Have More eBooks Than Days in a Year…But I Still Found a Pork Chop Recipe in 30 Seconds

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My husband often misplaces things like his iPod, phone, keys (and one time, a bag of lettuce – it was in the cupboard, ew!). He’s learned over the last ten years of marriage that it’s more efficient to “ask the wife” than it is to look on his own, because I can often go right to answer.

I’m almost that efficient on the computer as well, and it’s not that my folders are immaculately organized or that I don’t have a dozen windows and 50 Internet tabs open at once (because I usually do).

It’s because I respect the power of the search function.

You can see here how I use the whole-computer search function on Windows 7 to quickly navigate to an eBook that I’m looking for, and then the internal PDF search function to jump right to the recipe without any scrolling.

My problem comes when I haven’t actually committed to memory all the recipes in my eBooks, since, you know, I have over 350 of them right now. (Wow!) The search function can’t read text within a PDF, so for a long time, I was out of luck and had to rely on Google to find a new recipe.

And Google is great, don’t get me wrong. But it’s too easy for me to fall down the black hole of the Internet, to get distracted by sidebars and links that take me to fascinating articles that I really want to be reading, to open ten different recipes and spend 20 minutes weeding out the “non real food” options…and I’m having a blast, but my family is starving and wants to eat!

I recently learned about the “advanced search” function in Adobe Reader that allows me to search in a particular folder, like my “eBooks from bloggers” folder, for any word.

I had some pork chops I wanted to cook, but we don’t really use pork chops often. Okay, ever. I had no idea what seasoning to try or even method to cook.

I used the “Super Search” for PDFs, as I like to call it, and in 30 seconds I had 7 tested, vetted pork chop recipes from bloggers I trust. I wasn’t distracted by the call of the Internet, and we had a lovely dinner (I made two different seasonings).

Once I downloaded the Ultimate Healthy Living Bundle last fall (86 more new eBooks, gahhhhhh!), I searched just in that folder for pumpkin recipes, found 30 (!), made pumpkin spice ice cream from  Simple Healthy Tasty Sweets, and it took 7 minutes to make the ice cream, including cleaning up after I was overzealous dumping the coconut milk into the blender and it glooped back up, all over me and the floor. It was simple, and very tasty! Winking smile

Here’s a little screencast video I took to show you how the Advanced Search (I like to call it “super search”) works, and you can peek into some of the eBooks in the bundle at the same time:

If you can’t see the video above, click HERE to see it on YouTube.

Advanced “Super” Search for PDFs

No time for the video? It’s easy: Once you’re in Adobe Reader, just use the keys ctrl + shift + F (on a PC) and a window will pop up. “Browse” and choose your eBooks folder and you’re off to the races. (The “Edit” menu and “Search” also does the same function.)

UPDATE: Some readers helped me with the process on a Mac, which is already built in: Either use the little magnifying glass in the upper right corner (Spotlight) or use the keyboard shortcut command-spacebar.

The next Ultimate Healthy Living Bundle is coming soon…watch for it!

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12 Bites of Conversation So Far

  1. says

    That a brilliant tip! thank you for that – that’s going to make my life a top easier.

    (I swear the pdfs on my machine multiply like rabbits!)

  2. Barb S says

    *Sigh* Now I have to count how many e-books I have… and I just bought the Healthy Living Bundle too!! Isn’t it just awesome?!! With all the bonuses added on I almost feel guilty paying so little – almost. Thanks for the quick search tips.

      • Barb S says

        The coolest thing about e-books, besides the lower prices, is that nobody else in my family sees how many I have, so they can’t make fun of me, like they do about my physical collection (hard and soft cover). I used to volunteer at a thrift store, sorting books which sold at 10 and 25 cents each. I have bins full, not to mention shelves. Maybe I should start my own library…

  3. Tia Stevens says

    Are you saying you can “search” more than one ebook at a time, or do you have to select the ebook you want to search through. This is my first set of ebooks, and I really want to start with them being organized. Can you tell me how to make the folders for them.

  4. Sarah says

    This is gold! Thank you for this awesome tip! I’ve been collecting a number of e-books and this is just what I need to search them efficiently.

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