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I have recently installed helm but haven't gotten very far with using it so far. I noticed that I can run the command helm-pdfgrep-help and it shows me a list of keybindings. But I don't have a helm-pdfgrep (or pdfgrep-help for that matter).

What's the deal? The idea of using helm to search text in my pdf library sounds extremely useful. But a quick search on the web does not lead me to think helm-pdfgrep even exists.

  • It seems not exist for me.. I'm just using isearch now. (define-key pdf-view-mode-map (kbd "C-s") 'isearch-forward) Have you found other solutions? – Yang Feb 19 '16 at 17:15
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Running ag 'define.*pdf.*grep' (use grep instead of ag if you prefer) in the elpa/ directory returns this:

helm-20150226.818/helm-locate.el
99:    (define-key map (kbd "M-g p")   'helm-ff-run-pdfgrep)

helm-20150226.818/helm-files.el
297:    (define-key map (kbd "M-g p")         'helm-ff-run-pdfgrep)

helm-20150226.818/helm-grep.el
229:    (define-key map (kbd "C-c ?")    'helm-pdfgrep-help)

So the command to run pdfgrep using helm would be helm-ff-run-pdfgrep. Note that you need to have pdfgrep installed on your system for this to work.

Update

You should be able to find out the same using apropos-command or C-h a pdfgrep RET. Another command you can called interactively is helm-do-pdfgrep.

I was unable to do so because I don't use helm and didn't require it but I had it installed.

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To search pdf files, you need pick up these pdf files firstly via helm's file browser, i.e., helm-find-files, then launch pdf specific action (such as pdfgrep) there. The point is helm-find-files is the entry point, so there is no needs to make helm-pdfgrep/grep/git-grep/ack/ag/pt/zgrep etc.

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What's the deal? The idea of using helm to search text in my pdf library sounds extremely useful.

To search through multiple pdf files with pdfgrep you first use helm-find-files, then type any pattern to narrow the file list down to files you want to search, then press M-a to select all, then press M-g p to call helm-ff-run-pdfgrep, and finally type the grep search pattern and wait for results.

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Based on the results from kaushalmodi's answer, I'm thinking that there is unfortunately no standalone helm command for directly searching the content of multiple PDFs. But I did find that if I select a PDF using helm-locate and pressing Tab, there is an option on the list to use pdfgrep on that individual file using F9.

(Once I figured that out, I then tried to see if the shortcuts I saw listed from helm-pdfgrep-help would be useful. But now, helm-pdfgrep-help is just giving me an error: No buffer named *helm*.)

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