Installation of the Attachment Indexing pluginsEstimated Reading Time: 6 Minutes
PHPKB knowledge base software is able to index text content of the files attached to knowledgebase articles in order to make them searchable. Attachment indexing is supported in all editions of PHPKB knowledge base software. Some document types can be searched without any additional tools, others need PHP modules enabled or third-party tools (plugins) installed. All these modules (plugins) and 3rd party tools are free.
List of Supported File Types
|File Type||Supported Format||Required Tool (Plug-in)|
|MS Office 2003 Word Document||.DOC||AntiWord (free) is required|
|MS Office 2003 Excel Workbook||.XLS||xlhtml (free) is required|
|MS Office 2003 PowerPoint Presentation||.PPT||ppthtml (free) is required|
|MS Office 2007 Word Document||.DOCX||PHP ZIP library is required|
|MS Office 2007 Excel Workbook||.XLSX||PHP ZIP library is required|
|MS Office 2007 PowerPoint Presentation||.PPTX||PHP ZIP library is required|
|Adobe PDF Documents||pdftotext (free) is required|
|Plain-text Documents||.TXT, .HTM, .HTML, .CSV, .XML||No Plugin Required|
Installation of plugins to search attached files on Windows Server
We strongly recommend you use the latest version of PHP. These plugins work under PHP 5.3+ correctly. Earlier versions of PHP have bugs and may freeze when launching external programs (e.g. attachment indexation plugins) using the Windows command line.
Download the latest PHP package for Windows (VC9 x86 Non Thread Safe is recommended).
PHP 5.3 doesn't support ISAPI anymore. So you need to use FastCGI instead.
1. Enabling Required PHP Extensions (Modules) on Windows Server
You need to enable certain PHP modules in order to index content of MS Office 2007 documents.
- Find the "ext" subdirectory of your PHP installation (it is C:\PHP\ext\ by default).
- Check if the following files exist in that folder: php_mbstring.dll, php_zip.dll.
- If any of these files do not exist, you should run PHP installation and install appropriate modules (Mbstring or PHP ZIP respectively).
Note : If you have PHP 5.3 or higher, you need not enable PHP ZIP extension as it is already built-in to the PHP engine.
- Open the php.ini configuration file of your PHP engine in any text editor such as notepad.
- Search for the "extension=" (without quotes).
- You'll find the section with the list of PHP extensions. Some of them are commented with the # symbol.
- You should enable these modules by removing the comment symbol (#).
- Save the php.ini file.
- Restart the webserver for changes to take effect.
2. Attachment Indexing Plugins Installation on Windows Server
- The "phpkb/admin/" folder contains the following plugins:
- xlhtml (required for Excel 2003 files)
- pphtml (required for PowerPoint 2003 files)
- pdftotext (required for PDF files)
Installation of plugins to search attached files on Linux/Unix Server
Please follow the instructions below to install/enable the attachment indexation plugins and required PHP extensions.
1. Enabling Required PHP Extensions (Modules) on Linux Server
- Open the php.ini configuration file.
- Find the "extension_dir" parameter. It indicates the path to the PHP extensions directory. Go to that directory and check that zip.so file exists there.
- Add reference for the PHP ZIP extension to the php.ini:
- Restart the web server for changes made in php.ini to take effect.
2. Attachment Indexing Plugins Installation on Linux Server
If your system (RedHat / Fedora / CentOS) supports Yum Package Manager you can run this command instead to install necessary modules:
OR run following command to install necessary modules on a system that has APT library (e.g. Ubuntu, Debian):
How to Install the "xlhtml" and "ppthtml" Package on Ubuntu?
See below for quick step by step instructions of SSH commands, Copy/Paste to avoid miss-spelling or installing a different package by mistake.
1. Run update command to update package repositories and get the latest package information.
2. Run the install command with -y flag to quickly install the xlhtml package and dependencies.
3. Run the install command with -y flag to quickly install the ppthtml package and dependencies.
4. Check the system logs to confirm that there are no related errors.
Note: -y flag means to assume yes and silently install, without asking you questions in most cases.
Note: In case ppthtml & xlhtml do not get installed using the above commands then you can search them here and install accordingly.
What to do after the installation of indexing plug-ins?
- Go to the PHPKB admin control panel.
- Go to the Tools » Manage Settings » Miscellaneous tab » Search Settings section.
- Enable the checkbox on the "Search Attached Files" and on each document type as shown in the image below.
- Click on the "Save Changes" button to save the settings.
How to enable automatic indexing of file attachments when they are uploaded?
If you would like to auto-index the attached files as soon as they are uploaded, then there is another setting under "File Upload Settings" section of "Miscellaneous Settings". You can set the checkbox for "Index Attachments" as shown in the image below.
Now you can upload attachments and they will be automatically indexed for search.
How to index the attached files manually?
You can also manually run indexation for existing file attachments whenever required from "Tools" » "Index Attachments" section of the admin control panel as shown below.
How does PHPKB search the content of the attached PDF Files?
PHPKB knowledge base software is able to index the text content of PDF documents and make them searchable. It converts a PDF file to text file format to search its contents. It uses "pdftotext utility" to convert Portable Document Format (PDF) files to plain text. It reads the PDF file and writes a text file thus making itself able to search within the contents of PDF documents.
How to Disable Indexing for Specific File Types?
It may be necessary to disable attachment indexing for specific file types if the conversion is unable to process the attachments due to size or other errors. When disabled, the conversion will be bypassed for only specified file types. Attachment indexing can also be disabled for all types if desired.
- Login to the PHPKB admin control panel.
- Go to the Tools » Manage Settings » Miscellaneous Settings.
- Remove the checkbox on the "Search File Attachments" if you would like to disable indexing for all file types.
- Remove the checkbox for specific file types if you would disable indexing for those file types.