5 Free and Easy Methods to Search a PDF

Summary :

Searching in a PDF is not a difficult task, thanks to the emergence of various PDF-related tools. In this article, we discuss five ways to search for words or phrases in a PDF document, including using a PDF reader, online PDF editor, built-in Preview program on Mac, web browser, and word processing program.

Table of Contents

How to Search in a PDF

How to Search in a PDF

The process of searching for a specific word or phrase in a PDF document can be time-consuming and tedious, especially when working with large PDF documents and trying to find information quickly.

To help you solve this problem, we show you 5 ways to optimize your PDF search process in this guide.

Quick Answer: How to Find a Word in a PDF for FREE

PDFgear is an advanced PDF word search tool that integrates AI and offers a one-click interface for word searches. It can effortlessly search through lengthy or large PDFs, swiftly displaying all word matches in a matter of seconds.

It includes two filters for more precise word searches: Match All Words and Case Sensitive.

How to Search for a Sentence in a PDF Using PDFgear

A robust PDF reader that offers users a strong search function is PDFgear PDF Reader. It enables you to quickly and simply find the data you require inside PDF documents. Additionally, it can make your PDF searchable.

Anyone trying to rapidly find specific information within a PDF may consider using PDFgear PDF Reader. Additionally, it provides a variety of capabilities, such as text highlighting, annotation, and more.

Step 1. Download and install the PDF software

First, download and install PDFgear on your Mac or Windows PC, then open the PDF file you wish to search for in the software.

PDFgear – Best Free PDF Word Searcher

PDFgear is a PDF reader software that includes search functionality, allowing users to search for specific content within a PDF document.

Step 2. Activate the search feature

Look for a “Search” or “Find” feature, which is located in the top toolbar or under the “Home” tab. Alternatively, Press Ctrl + F (or Command + F on a Mac) to activate the Find feature.

Locate the Find Box

Locate the Find Box

Type in the keyword or phrase you are looking for in the search bar. Press “Enter” to initiate the search.

Step 3. Search in a PDF

PDFgear will highlight all instances of the keyword or phrase within the PDF document. You can navigate through the search results by clicking on the left or right arrow by clicking on the highlighted instances directly.

Search Words in a PDF Using PDFgear

Search Words in a PDF Using PDFgear

How to Search a PDF Online for Free

You can utilize the Search feature of an online PDF editor to look up specific terms or phrases inside the document. You can quickly search, edit, and convert PDF files using PDFgear.

No download, no sign-up. Follow the simple steps to search words in PDF online:

Step 1. Open PDF files in the PDF Editor

Open PDFgear online PDF editor with the browser on your device. Then Upload your PDF file to the online editor.

Upload a PDF Online

Upload a PDF Online

Step 2. Select the Find feature

Select the “Find” icon in the toolbar, It is an icon like a magnifying glass.

Click on the Find Text Icon

Click on the Find Text Icon

Enter the search term you want to find in the search box and click “enter” on your keyboard.

Step 3. Search words and phrases in PDF

The editor will then highlight any instances of your search term in the PDF.

Find Text in PDF Online

Find Text in PDF Online

You can click through the highlighted search terms to find the section you’re looking for.

How to Find Text in PDFs in Preview on Mac

The default PDF and image viewer for macOS is called Preview. It has a function for searching for text inside a PDF file. Follow the instructions below to use this feature.

How to Search in A PDF on Mac

How to Search in A PDF on Mac

Step 1. Open the PDF file in the Preview application on your Mac. Most of the time, you can accomplish this by double-clicking the file in Finder or by starting Preview and choosing the relevant file from the “File” menu.

Step 2. Either use the keyboard shortcut “Command+F” or choose “Find” from the “Edit” menu.

Step 3. A search bar will appear in the Preview window’s upper right corner. Enter the word or phrase you want to look up in the search bar.

To begin the search, press the “Enter” key on your keyboard or the “Find” button.

Step 4. All occurrences of the term or phrase in the document will be highlighted by the Preview application. To browse the results, use the arrow buttons on the search box.

Click “Following” or press “Command+G” on your keyboard to search for the word or phrase in the next occurrence.

Step 5. Click the “X” button on the search bar’s right side or press “Escape” on your keyboard to close it.

How to Search a PDF for Words Using Chrome

Most browsers have a built-in PDF text search function. After opening a PDF file in your browser, you can use the search box that comes with your browser to search for text in the PDF. You can also use keyboard shortcuts (e.g. “ctrl+F”) to open the search box.

Search in a PDF in Chrome

Search in a PDF in Chrome

Step 1. Open the PDF document with a web browser like Chrome or Firefox.

Step 2. Press “Ctrl+F” (or “Command+F” on Mac) to open the Find box.

Step 3. Type in the words or phrases you want to search for in the “Find” box.

Step 4. The web browser will then search through the document and display any matches.

Step 5. Then you can check all matches you want to view, then click on the up and down arrows and this will toggle through all the highlighted text.

How to Search for a Word in a PDF Using Microsoft Word

If you need to search for particular words or phrases within a PDF document and you don’t have a PDF viewer or editor at your disposal, you can use the Find function of a word processing tool, such as Microsoft Word or Google Docs, to find the information. Here is how to do that:

Search Text in Microsoft Word

Search Text in Microsoft Word

Step 1. Simply open the document in the word processing program. Just need to drag and drop your PDF into Microsoft Word, then click “OK” to open it.

Step 2. Press Ctrl + F (or Command + F on a Mac) to open the Find feature, and type in your search term. It can be words or phrases.

Step 3. The program will highlight all instances of the term within the document, and display all match terms in the left panel. Then you can navigate between them.


How to Search Words in PDF on iPhone?

When you want to search in PDF on your iPhone, picking PDFgear is a sensible idea. No installation, registration, or subscription. Go to PDFgear online editor > Upload a PDF > Hit the magnifying glass icon > Type the words to search.

Can I Search in Scanned PDF?

Yes. PDFgear provides a solution that aims to the scanned PDF. Download PDFgear on your device > Locate PDF to Word in the Hot Tools menu > Add PDFs (batch import is supported) > Set the output path > Check the OCR option > Click Convert to get a searchable file.

Seach in Scanned PDF with PDFgear

Seach in Scanned PDF with PDFgear

Is There an AI-powered Search PDF Tool?

PDFgear Chatbot, powered by ChatGPT-3.5, allows you to search within a PDF by activating the AI Chatbot in the bottom left corner and entering commands like “find words ‘TROPICAL’ in this pdf” to highlight the search term.

Search PDF with AI-powered Tool

Search PDF with AI-powered Tool


You can efficiently search within a PDF document to find the information you need by following these recommendations. This guide will help you quickly and simply access the information you need within your PDFs, whether you’re a student, a professional, or just someone trying to manage their digital files.

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