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How dtSearch Works on the Web

dtSearch Web uses an index that it builds to search instantly through gigabytes of text. Just select directories to index — dtSearch automatically recognizes and supports all popular file formats, and never alters original files.


dtSearch Web requires IIS 4, 5 or 6 (included with Windows NT/2000/XP/2003) to install.


dtSearch Web operates through the dtSearch Desktop user interface to make indexing really easy. Just select "Add folders" in the dialog box below, and dtSearch will do the rest. Once dtSearch has built an index, it can automatically update it using the Windows Task Scheduler to reflect additions, deletions and modifications to your document collection.

index updated

Web Setup

With a few mouse clicks, dtSearch Web Setup lets you install dtSearch Web. You can designate multiple indexes to search on your site, and automatically generate a search form.

dialog box

The form builder provides numerous optional ways to customize the contents of search results, document display, and the search form itself. (You can also use an HTML editor such as Microsoft FrontPage to edit the resulting search form.)


The form builder will automatically install the search form on your Web site, so visitors can instantly search, including over a dozen text search options. A sample modified follows:

advanced search


After a search, dtSearch Web will display retrieved files with hit highlighting, and all links and images intact. The result looks just like the original HTML or PDF page, but with highlighted hits. HTML links also remain in the document display and fully functional. Buttons like "next hit," "previous document," "next document," etc., also let you navigate through your hits and documents.

stsearch support

HTML file retrieved by dtSearch Web. Try dtSearch Web and HTML demo.

The buttons on the adobe reader tool bar navigate hits in the PDF files. To avoid delays in displaying long Web-based PDF files through the combined browser / Adobe Reader inerface, dtSearch will first download only the page with the "hit" highlighted. dtSearch will then download additional pages as the user browses through the document.

PDF demo

PDF file retrieved by dtSearch Web. Try dtSearch Web PDF demos.

For XML, dtSearch can perform indexed searches using the full range of dtSearch features across an entire XML database, or limited to a highly specific combination of fields or sub-fields.

XML demo

dtSearch Web nested-field search of Shakespeare XML database. Try dtSearch Web XML demo.

For other file types, dtSearch uses built-in HTML file converters to convert non-Web-ready formats such as word processor, database, spreadsheet, ZIP, Unicode, etc., to HTML for display with highlighted hits. For a demo showing source code converted to HTML click here.

dtSearch Web and Spider

Operating through dtSearch Web, the Spider can expand the scope of the searchable database beyond a site's own data to content on a third-party Web site. The Spider supports indexing and searching of secure content HTTPS sites and password-accessible sites, in addition to publicly available sites.

The Spider can index XML, HTML, PDF, ASP, etc. Web pages to any level of page depth. Like dtSearch Web, the Spider supports online postings of text based documents such as word processor files and spreadsheets.

Through XML-based distributed search functionality, a single search request can return fully integrated results spanning Web sites and local data sources. After a search, the Spider will display retrieved Web pages with highlighted hits, along with images, formatting and links.

For a Spider demo operating through dtSearch Web, click here. (The spidered site is hosted on a completely different hosting system and physical location from the site that is executing the Search Site demo.).

Technical Note

For information on searching ASP, please see this FAQ article: How to use dtSearch Web with dynamically-generated content.

dtSearch Web includes an ASP and ASP.NET interface and sample ASP and ASP.NET applications. Developer FAQs