Last week, the American public finally got its hands on the Mueller report–more than 400 pages, much of the text redacted, detailing the special counsel’s much anticipated findings. Within minutes of that release, many copies of that file were uploaded to the Internet Archive. On Amazon, other outfits were charging $7.99 for an EPUB of the report. At the Internet Archive we made the Mueller Report searchable and downloadable. And free.
The government initially released the document in a PDF format which renders it like an image, impossible to search. When PDF files are uploaded to the Archive, we automatically run them through an Optical Character Recognition (OCR) process. This turns those images into text, making it much easier to move between sections and search for specific words or phrases. This allows journalists and the public to more easily parse through volumes of information contained within these massive documents. It also has the added benefit of making the text EPUB friendly, which makes it easily viewable on mobile devices, and accessible to our low-vision communities.
We have the tools that empower people to share and discover public domain documents like government reports. Thanks to our community members who moved quickly to upload copies, the world can now search, share, download or read a mobile-friendly version of the Mueller report for free.
For a free copy of the OCR’d version of the Mueller Report, visit: https://archive.org/details/mueller_report_20190422
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To clarify a bit… PDFs are, by nature, searchable, if created properly. If you were to, say, “print” an MSWord document to a PDF printer, the resulting file would be searchable. I suspect that Mueller’s team created the original (unredacted) version this way.
PDFs were originally designed to hold typeset books, and as such, needed to include charts and photos, so that feature was added. Then people realized they could just include a photo of every page of a book, and it would appear to be the same thing.
I suspect that Mueller’s team created the original (unredacted) version this way