Searching Trough Printed Books Online

Imagine you are the publisher and you wish readers to search throught your book online. No, you do not want to publish entire text of the book online. download ebook online

Neither you wish to put online a PDF. Rather you wish to allow future readers to seek trough the book to guess what it says about some particular term. Or you wish to allow those who already have bought the book to find the page where the author tells something important. People often desire to find something in a book they already read but usual books do not have a search form in it.

DeepText Book Search is a tool that allows to create such search for any printed book and put in on the web.

How to Prepare the Book

The simplest case is when you have a PDF layout. If you don’t, it is possible to scan and OCR the book. Anyhow you need two things: full text of the source and images (low resolution is enough) of it. Other stages of the process are rather technical and are not discussed here.

How does it Look Like

Search starts from a search field which could be placed anywhere on the website. Better place is on the same page where the book description is published. This could also be a separate page with a nice “tag cloud” on it, where tags are real words that came from the text of this book. Therefore you guess what the book is about not only from its title or annotation but also from real words it has.

So, you type in the term you are looking for, and if the search was successful you receive the list of search results, each of which includes the thumbnail of a page, page number and chapter title, and also a preview selection from the text with highlighted words. Note that if two pages go one after another in a real book and they form a double page fold, then both of them appear close to it other like in real book:

pp. 262263
Chapter 5. Perl Conferences at a Glance
We had three cameras recording the conference (but unfortunately did not manage to organize good sound recording).
Participation in a conference was free for everyone, and even more: there were two free coffee-breaks, one per day. We also had a possibility to give everyone a conference’s T-shirt...
Page 262 Page 263

After you click either page thumbnail or page number you get the low resolution (but much larger than a thumbnail was) page, where search word or words are underlined and clearly notable:

Search results with highlited terms

Not Just Word Matches

Search engine knows not only exact form of words, in which they appear in the book, but is also able to understand word morphology forms. Thus you may search for person and receive pages with word persons. Even more, children will be found for search querying child.

Another advantage is that we understand words which did not have enough space on a line and were divided with a hyphen to continue on another. In fact, it is really hard to implement, because there are lots of words that already include a hyphen within them.

And Even More

Customized search may contain joint search to look trough several books within one interface. It can also be equipped with a tool to manually (or semi-automatically) create search assistants—i. e. search patterns that not only should produce general results but also will show some kind of context advertisement such as links to other books or catalogues, or simply show a brief information about some person or event.

Exploit it

Please ask DeepText if you have any questions on how to implement the search for your books.