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Can't Search PDF's inserted into OneNote from Surface Pro!


New Member
I have run into a problem and wanted to see if anyone here has a suggestion or has experienced the same problem and may have a work around...

I have a SP4. I heavily use OneNote for work and insert a LOT of PDFs, word docs, photos, etc to organize complex work files / legal materials.

The problem I am experiencing is with PDF files inserted as printouts into OneNote.

If I insert a PDF into OneNote - OneNote SHOULD be able to search the printout for keywords. I often insert transcripts or other lengthy text documents and being able to search for a keyword is a big help.

Any PDF that I insert into a OneNote notebook is NOT properly searching if I insert it / create it with my SP4. I have TWO SP4! one is my personal device and one is my work device issued by my employer. both have the same problem. Prior to getting a SP4, I had a regular desktop copmuter, which I also used to create OneNote notebooks.

If I open up one of my "old" notebooks that I created on the desktop computer - OneNote will search the PDF perfectly. I can open those on my SP4 and search the PDF and it finds exactly what words I search for. If I insert the same PDF into a notebook using my SP4, however, it wont'; work.

The problem appears this way - if I seach for a word, OneNote appears to conduct the search. it tells me how many matches it finds..BUT when it highlights the word it found - I am getting highligthed boxes in random places on my screen.. it's as if OneNote finds the word or knows it's there but can't show me where it is.

I know there are settings to make images searchable... and I have correctly configurd those settings.. It's not something that easy. I have tried to disable text imaging, and then re-enable it. That seemed to correct the probelm on my personal device but it had no effet on my work issued SP4... no idea why that happened.

has anyone else run into this problem on a Surface Pro or Surface Book? I have a co-worker with a similar setup at work -= same computer, same version of Windows, doing things the same way - and he has the same problem.

i'm hoping there is some kind of setting I am missing? or something easy to fix this? I absolutely need my PDFs to be searchable. this feature is what makes OneNote so powerful on my SP4.... without this feature I'd be better off with a standard laptop....

anyone able to help me out???


New Member
I think the problem is occurring at the moment the PDF is printed into OneNote if/when the image is a scan. if you insert the pdf from a desktop computer it works and my SP4 can view the file and search it. When the actual machine that "prints to OneNote" is a sp4, it gets all scrwed up.

when is MS gonna fix this?