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Any Windows offline note taker apps that allows to import MS Office (msg, docx, xlsx) and pdf files and search within them?

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Posted by MotionTwelve
Oct 20, 2015 at 10:27 PM


I believe RightNote does this but without internal file preview.  WizNote also comes to mind but since it’s tied to a Chinese cloud, makes me a bit nervous. Any other note takers/information managers that allow to attach document files and index the contents for instant search.  TIA

PS. I’ve received some feedback from TagSpaces developer and looks like that is the direction they are aiming for but who knows when we will get to test it out.


Posted by Anthony
Oct 21, 2015 at 10:25 AM


Few mentions (mainly Win based):
-Ultrarecall (with results: PDFs turned to raw text)  /Win
-TheBrain (with partial results: first pages -customizable - of PDFs turned to raw text -  some issues with some settings&version: see other thread) /Win-Mac
-Zotero (no text results: indexing PDFs possible with PDFtoText plugin.  ) /Win-Mac
-MyInfo ? (rumors for the next version 7) /Win


Posted by Jon Polish
Oct 21, 2015 at 12:31 PM


Ultra Recall is particularly adept at this. I rely on its ability to search and display all the time. TheBrain would be another good choice, but my experience with its ability to search within attachments has been exasperating. It does not work for me and on the occasion when it does, the results are unreliable.



Posted by Arnold
Oct 21, 2015 at 01:35 PM


Zoot does have the ability for the import of the file types listed, plus many other features (that can be a hinderance). Using just as a note taker/info library is very doable.

Once Tom finishes the help / manual all will be good in the end.


Posted by MotionTwelve
Oct 21, 2015 at 04:53 PM


Thank you for the tips.  I just finished test driving Zoot, The Brain and UltraRecall and seems like all of them perform some sort of file conversion to extract metadata.  Therefore, you don’t get to see the attached files in their original form when previewed inside.  They tend to get distorted.  UltraRecall also relies on MS Office, similar to another outliner called TreeProjects. 
Although more of a document manager, Lucion FileCenter utilizes Oracle Outside In Viewers that virtually display document files in their native format.  However, it doesn’t have a rich text editor for note taking.  I think this is showing a big gap that not too many developers have been considering to fill in. :-(
What makes me wonder even more, how could a software giant like Microsoft not see this need with OneNote.  All they’ve done is fake it by converting imported documents to images.  What a joke.


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