Last Reviewed:  April 19, 2023

Troubleshooting Search Problems

If search (either the built-in search or Windows Search) isn't returning anything, here are a few things to try:

Verify that Your Documents are Searchable

If the search engine is working properly, you now need to verify that your documents actually have text in them, especially if they're scans. For scans, you can only search the contents if they've been made into searchable PDF files through OCR. To see if the scan is searchable:

  1. Select it in the Manage tab
  2. Go to the Files button (right above the list of files) > Open in FileCenter
  3. Your PDF should now be open in the Edit tab
  4. Go to the Tools button > Show Text Window
  5. A pane will open at the bottom of FileCenter
  6. In this pane, click the Extract button
  7. This will show all of the text in the document in the pane

If you see text in the pane, then your document is searchable. If you don't see any text, your PDF isn't searchable. Click the OCR button to make it searchable.

If you determine that your scans aren't searchable, you can go through your cabinet and select them one-at-a-time and hit the OCR button to make them searchable. You can do this right in the cabinet. there's no need to open each one in the Edit tab first.

If you're looking at thousands of unsearchable scans, you might want to pick up FileCenter's sister product, FileConvert, which specializes in automatically finding unsearchable documents and making them searchable. Learn More »

Make Sure that Search is Working

Once you're sure that indexing is set up properly and that the indexes have all been built, verify that search is working:

  1. Start a new document in your word processor
  2. Type an uncommon word, like xenophobia or platypus or zenith
  3. Save the document into one of your cabinets
  4. Go to the Search tab and select your cabinet on the list
  5. If you're using FileCenter's built-in engine, click the Indexing button (above the search results pane) > Index Selected Cabinets to update the index

Now do a search for the term. The document should come up in the search results. If it doesn't, there's some deeper problem with search.

Fix Your Indexing Settings

First do a search for a term that you know appears in your files, like your company's name. If you still don't get any hits, check your indexing settings.

Windows Search

First, indexing is handled on the computer where the files reside. So if your files are on a network server, you'll need to do these steps on the server itself.

  1. Go to the Windows Control Panel and select Indexing Options
  2. You should now see a list of folders that Windows is actively indexing
  3. If your cabinet locations don't appear on the list, click Modify, then browse out to your cabinet locations and put a check mark next to them and click OK
  4. Hit the Advanced button
  5. Select the File Types tab
  6. Make sure that each file type you want to search is selected
  7. Go down to PDF and select it
  8. Make sure that Index Properties and File Contents is selected
  9. Click OK

If you had to make any changes to these settings, give Windows a few hours to update its indexes.

FileCenter's Built-in Engine

Click the "Cabinets" button then the "Indexing Options" tab. Look at your cabinets. They should have a "Last Indexed" date. If they don't have a date here, they haven't been indexed yet. Here's how to index them:

  1. Put a check-mark next to each cabinet you want to index
  2. Select Full Index then Start Indexer
  3. Leave your computer alone while FileCenter builds the indexes

To make sure your indexes are kept up to date:

  1. Go to FileCenter's Settings
  2. Select Advanced Indexing on the left
  3. Select Enable Auto Indexer
  4. Put a check mark next to each cabinet you index

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