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How To Search In A PDF

How To Search In A PDF

PDF has always been everyone's favorite document format for sharing files. That's because it retains all the formatting and graphics inside it. Moreover, it can be opened by the end-user with only free PDF reader software. However, everything has a downside, and PDF files aren't an exception. One of the significant downsides of a PDF file is that it doesn't allow you to search for text or phrases inside these files as conveniently as you can with other file formats... until you read this guide.

Suppose you're dealing with a PDF document with hundreds of pages, and you've to find a specific word or sentence from the same. How will you feel? Sounds complicated, right? Well, searching for a piece of text in a PDF file is possible. When you're drowning in paperwork, you can't manually search for that text on your document. That's why you must be looking for some quick tricks to search in a PDF file.

No matter what, knowing how to search in a PDF file is essential. Hence, this article. In this post, we'll mention some of the genuine and easy ways that you can use to search for words or phrases in a PDF file. So, let's roll on!

How To Search In A PDF

Anyone looking for simple ways to search PDF files easily and quickly should definitely try a good PDF reader. It's a tool that lets you find words in PDF files. Not just that, the program even lets you display, print, and share PDF files; isn't it amazing?

Here are a few easy steps that you need to follow to search for a word in a PDF file using a good PDF reader software:

  1. Open the PDF file with your favorite PDF reader software.
  2. Press CMD + F (for Mac) or CTRL + F (for Windows).
  3. Once you've pressed the shortcut keys, a text box will appear on your search. Type in the search term in the text box.
  4. The first match will be emphasized, and you can press "Enter" or tap the right arrow key to navigate between the search results. Similarly, you can click on the left arrow button to go back.

Search in PDF

Once you're done, you can edit your PDF file using an online PDF editor.

What Do You Need To Know About Search In A PDF

Just like knowing how to search a PDF file is essential, understanding various aspects of it is also necessary.

These are some of the critical aspects that one needs to keep in mind while carrying out the activity of searching for words in a PDF file:

  • Generally, the dialog boxes are case-sensitive, so it's better to capitalize the text you need to search for. However, that is not the case with the tool mentioned above. You don't have to capitalize the words, and the search function will still work perfectly. In fact, it'll match all the words that you've typed in.
  • Of course, while searching for a word in a PDF file, it's vital to enter the correct spelling, or else the program won't show the expected results.
  • Moreover, remember the spaces when searching for text in a PDF file. For instance, if the sentence in a PDF file includes one space but you've put two spaces while searching for text. In such a case, you won't find the expected result.
  • Also, remember to use symbols correctly while you search in a PDF file.

Which Programs Allow You To Search In A PDF

An online tool is undoubtedly the best option if you want to search in a PDF file. However, you might sometimes not feel like using any online tool because they might not be safe enough. In such a case, you can go for some programs for different operating systems.

Search In A PDF From The PC

Although it might sound scary to search in a PDF file on a computer, it's not the case. In fact, this task is a lot easier when you do it on a PC (with Linux, Mac, or Windows). So, let's look at how to search a PDF file on different computer operating systems.

Windows 10 And Prior Versions Of Windows

No doubt, searching for a word or phrase in a PDF file is one of the most requested actions, especially by those who use a Windows computer. And if you fall into the same category, we've got a piece of good news. Use Adobe Acrobat Reader to search in a PDF file.


Carrying out the action of searching for a word in a PDF file is simplest if you use a computer with Mac operating system. That's because it comes with an in-build app called "Preview," which enables users to search PDF files quickly and easily. That way, you don't have to install any new program on your device.


If you're a Linux user, searching in a PDF file can be difficult, especially if you don't want to use any online tool. However, there are ways to search in a PDF file. You can use the command "pdfgrep" to carry out this particular activity. It's the most used command that Linux users employ to perform this task.

Search In A PDF From The Smartphone Or Tablet

If you're looking for ways to search in a PDF file on your smartphone or tablet, you're at the right place. In this section, we'll talk about the best way to do so.


For anyone searching the internet for a solution to search in a PDF file on Android, Adobe is one of the best tools available in the market. It's a subscription-based program that allows you to find word in PDF files. And the best part is that the application is relatively easy to use, and you can quickly carry out this task using this program.

iPhone (iOS) Or iPad

If you want to search in a PDF on iPhone (iOS) or iPad, numerous applications in the Apple App Store can help you carry out this task. You only need to search for the keywords "PDF Searcher," and you'll see tons of programs. You can use applications like Adobe Acrobat Reader or iAnnotate PDF.

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Husain has been around the internet ever since the dial-up days and loves writing about everything across the technosphere. He loves taking tech apart and see what makes them tick, without necessarily putting it all back together.
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