We're still trying to figure out if CiviCRM will work for our organization. Our users would like to have the functionality to search the name of a document that has been attached to a case. Ideally (though I realize it's probably not possible), they would like to be able to search the contents of an attached document.

As an example, a client might call in and request a publication on apple orchards. Say we send them a publication called "apple orchard management 101" and document that in the case and possibly attach a pdf to the case. Going forward they might like to search to find all the cases where that publication was sent to a client. Or they would like to search for all cases where they were sent a publication (pdf) which included the text "organic apple production".

I know I'm reaching here, but would love to know if anyone has accomplished anything like this.

Thanks in advance.

  • 1
    which CMS? only asking because Drupal civicrm entity and searchapi gets a long way in to searching in civi stuff in case that is an option to consider if no-one comes back with a direct route
    – petednz - fuzion
    Commented May 10, 2016 at 1:46
  • It is set up with WordPress.
    – 406CODE
    Commented May 10, 2016 at 14:32
  • I suspect this could be very tricky. How many such docs do you send out? Is it conceivable that you have a specific Activity Type for 'Provided PDF' and then a field on their that lists your various documents? Then you can keep track by searching that field on the Activity. If this is any help i will convert to an answer
    – petednz - fuzion
    Commented May 10, 2016 at 18:49
  • That would require the user to not only attach the document but to enter the title of the document in yet another field. We're trying to reduce the workflow and I think this would only make it more complicated. Ideally, we'd just like to be able to search the uploaded document titles and better yet, their content.
    – 406CODE
    Commented May 11, 2016 at 13:57
  • I would say - Searching a file from the directory is not a problem I have done that - but searching a file content from a PDF is a problem - if it is with txt or word then it should be alright - Else we need to convert all the PDF into word document Commented May 13, 2016 at 15:41

1 Answer 1


If you are on WordPress, there are at least of couple of plugins that do full-text search on files:

Since the files uploaded with CiviCRM are stored in the same folder hierarchy as the other WordPress uploads those plugins should be able to index and locate these files.

However, they will not be able to link the document back to the CiviCRM contact they are attached to. This feature could be achieved with a custom development.

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