- 3 ways to find this word in PDF
- How to Search PDF Using a Web Browser
- How to Search PDF with Adobe Reader
- Search PDF using the Mac Preview app
3 ways to find this word in PDF
There are several ways to search for a word or phrase in a PDF, depending on the application you are using to view it. The most common way to view PDF files is through a web browser such as Google Chrome or Microsoft Edge. Even if the PDF file is on your computer and not on the web, it often opens in your default browser. Things are a little different for Mac users, who will find a PDF file on their Mac to open in Preview, a handy app that can view most files.
Most options also allow for some form of advanced search, such as case sensitivity for whole words. If you need to find a word in a PDF and your browser doesn’t support full word searches, just put a space at the beginning or end of the search term.
How to Search PDF Using a Web Browser
Whether you use Google Chrome, Microsoft Edge, Apple Safari, Mozilla Firefox, or even Internet Explorer, PDF searches for a specific word or phrase are quite easy to perform using the web browser of your choice. Most web browsers, including the most recent versions listed above, open the PDF file in an in-browser reader. From there, the search is relatively easy…
You start a search with the shortcut “Search”. On PC it’s Control-F. On a Mac, this is Command-F. While holding down the control key or command, press and hold the F key. A search box will appear on the screen.
- Google Chrome has a simple search interface with up and down buttons to find the next or previous match, and a button X to close the search box.
- Microsoft Edge opens the top panel. Next to the left and right Find Next and Find Previous buttons, you can click parameters: to match whole words, meaning “day” does not match “today”. You can also select case sensitive search.
browser Apple Safari has left and right buttons to search for “Find Next” and “Find Previous”. There is a button to close the search bar Finished †
Search bar Mozilla Firefox appears at the bottom of the screen. In addition to the Up and Down buttons for Find Next and Find Previous, you can: Match case find whole words And Select everything if you want each corresponding phrase to be highlighted.
- Internet Explorer displays a small window with the left and right “Find Next” and “Find Previous” buttons. The black down button deserves special attention. This button opens a menu for case sensitive search, full word search, or Complete reader search that creates an index for each matching word or phrase.
How to Search PDF with Adobe Reader
Most PDF files on a Windows PC open in the default web browser, but if you have Adobe Reader installed, it may open in the reader. The advantage of opening a PDF in Adobe Reader is the ability to add marks or comments to the PDF. You can also access other features such as PDF export in a different format if you are an Adobe Reader subscriber.
Adobe Reader uses the same interface as Internet Explorer. Or, more accurately, Internet Explorer borrowed the Reader interface. You can start your search with Control-F (or Command-F on Mac) and use the left and right arrows to find the previous or next match. The down arrow displays a menu with: whole word search † case sensitive And full reader search One that creates an index of all matches.
Search PDF using the Mac Preview app
When you double-click a PDF file on your Mac, it opens in Preview by default. This is great because Preview is one of the best ways to find a PDF file.
The search bar in the top right corner is always present in preview mode, but the Command-F keyboard shortcut still works and places the cursor in the search bar. After the search, an index of all the words or phrases found will appear on the left side of the screen. All found results are highlighted in the preview window and the current sentence found is highlighted in green instead of yellow.
You can switch between matches by clicking the left and right arrows at the top of the screen for Find Previous and Find Next.