DirectIndustry.com has made itself more user-friendly with a new search tool that lets engineers look for key words within PDF documents. Company sources say this may be one of the first websites offering such advanced search options.

Rather than scrolling through entire catalogs online or printing out numerous pages to look for a product or technology, engineers can find all relevant pages and documents referencing the key term. “It saves time and headaches,” says Corentin Thiercelin, DirectIndustry CEO.

“This demonstrates our principle of organizing information intuitively for engineers, for fast and effective research,” Thiercelin says. He adds that the downloaded PDFs are often buried deep within company websites. This service makes them more accessible.

Each search generates a summary of relevant pages so users can quickly select and click the most pertinent. A toolbar lets them print out the page, browse surrounding pages, or e-mail the manufacturer directly.

DirectIndustry's Dante Swift explains that the service, like all Internet search sites, is free to users. Companies pay to list their products and receive unlimited access to upload catalogs and PDFs to the website. Swift added that the catalogs do not undergo any change in structural information, and the search tool gives companies an easier way to manage content.

According to Swift, DirectIndustry.com currently features about 7,037 catalogs in searchable format from approximately 2,300 companies.

Searching is done by product or brand name. Swift says a parallel catalog search, similar to its product search, will soon be uploaded to the home page, making it a more visible, easier-to-use tool.

For more information, contact the editor at mgannon@penton.com.