EJM Designs Limited Blog

Friday, February 13, 2009

A Political Moment with Ctrl+F

This is not a political blog. However, sometimes - more and more often - technology and politics overlap.

Today, Rush Limbaugh, when discussing the stimulus bill, stated the following:
[Democrats] have reformatted the bill -- they've made it a PDF file when they posted it. Now, for those of you that don't use computers, basically what that means is that it cannot be keyword searched. A PDF file is essentially a picture of a page. And, so, you can read every page, but you cannot keyword search it. It's not a text file as legislation normally is as posted on these public websites. They don't want anybody knowing what's in this.
For those of you that don't use computers, basically what Rush Limbaugh is saying is that he does not know how to search a PDF file.

Granted, there are instances of physical documents being scanned into PDF format in which the image itself becomes the PDF page, but even with those systems, unless the document is horribly degraded, optical character recognition is an option.

Since the document of the stimulus bill was an electronic document to begin with, Adobe transferred all the words into searchable text when the file was converted to a PDF.

Ctrl+F will get you started, Rush.

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