Fulltext Search Searching for title, tags & content in documents account-wide

The Request

When using the universal search bar for finding documents, the app should not only find results based on titles or tags, but also the entire content of all the documents stored in the account. This would reduce the effort required to keep the account organised and would make finding documents easier.


Even though it sounds simple on the surface and InstaPDF features powerful local OCR capabilities, searching through the documents one by one could be a very slow experience.

Server Approach

In addition to the performance overhead, there's a privacy implication that cannot be ignored. If we scan every document uploaded to our servers and store its content separately, something we're not comfortable with, it would not only lead a larger data footprint per user, but to a slower overall sync experience.

Client Approach

Currently, when a user signs into InstaPDF on their device, no document is downloaded automatically. Everything you click on is downloaded on the fly. In theory, if we left a background queue running for downloading documents and extracting the content locally, we could achieve the implementation of this feature, however this comes with the downside of draining the battery, using up network bandwidth and overall slower performance.

Status: In Review

We've not removed this feature from our roadmap, but are still in the early evaluation stages.

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