key word search software
June 4, 2010 8:48 AM   Subscribe

Is there a program to search a document in a program that does not have a search function?

I'm doing a clinical research project using an electronic medical records system. It would be nice to be able to search a page for key terms, but the software does not have a search function. Any ideas that could help me out?
posted by esnyder to Computers & Internet (8 answers total)
Can you print to PDF from the program? If it prints smartly (i.e., prints as text rather than as images), you could search the PDF.
posted by divisjm at 8:54 AM on June 4, 2010

If it's text and printing fails in some strange manner, you could copy it all to Notepad/Word and use the search function there.
posted by Xany at 9:06 AM on June 4, 2010

For Windows, Search and Replace.

For Mac, TextWrangler.
posted by bricoleur at 9:10 AM on June 4, 2010

How is the content written? If you throw the file into Notepad or the related basic text editor on your OS, what shows up? For example, MS Word Documents will open, with a bunch of extra data related to formatting, and you can search that. On the other side, I tried a PDF with selectable text, and it turned up unreadable (and thus unsearchable) gibberish.
posted by filthy light thief at 9:11 AM on June 4, 2010

If your electronic medical record system is driven off a standard database, you might find success in accessing the database directly and searching that way.
posted by rickim at 9:21 AM on June 4, 2010

It's not very easy, but you might be able to do it using AutoIT (assuming it is a mac).
posted by a womble is an active kind of sloth at 10:33 AM on June 4, 2010

(sorry - meant to say windows, not mac)
posted by a womble is an active kind of sloth at 10:00 PM on June 4, 2010

You can use a utility like WinSpy++ to extract the text from any dialog and copy it to the clipboard.
posted by Rhomboid at 12:43 AM on June 5, 2010

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