How To Search a PDF | Image And Text Content

July 31, 2023 3.2K views

PDF documents are probably the most commonly used set of documents in corporate and governmental offices today because of its ability to avoid accidental changes or modifications by unauthorized users. So if you are looking for how to search a PDF, this comprehensive article will help you do so like an expert. However, it’s a lot easier to find specific content you’re looking for in a PDF document than it is for a Word document. Because by default Windows search indexes all of the text inside of a document either PDF or Word or any other, thus making it easy to search all documents quickly.

However, the text inside the PDF document is not indexed by Windows or by other desktop search programs like Google Desktop etc. So most of the time if you need to find a specific PDF file, you have to manually open each one and perform a search. If you are simply looking for some text or phrase in a PDF, it is not a problem. On the other hand if you need to scan through a bunch of PDF documents annotations like notes and bookmarks too, you can use the Advanced PDF search features of WPS Office PDF Editor.

1. How to Easily Search a PDF Using WPS PDF Editor

WPS PDF Editor features some of the best features of PDF editing in the market. The tool is known for its efficiency model and PDF solutions covered in a simple and efficient user interface. People looking for a specific text or phrase within a PDF document can make multiple changes across the platform such as finding a text and replacing it with another text subsequently. WPS PDF includes operational procedures that are more common across word processing documents. To understand how to search a PDF, you need to look into the steps described as follows.

3 Steps To Find PDF Content on WPS PDF

  • Now, click the Search icon in the right vertical toolbar or simply press “Ctrl+F”. 

  • A search window will appear, giving you the option to type (and even replace) the word or phrase you are looking for. 

  • Upon observing the “Set Up” drop-down panel, you can work across the search with case-sensitive, including bookmarks/notes and whole words filters.

Match Whole World Only: This search operator finds the exact match of text you entered. For example, you are looking for the text is and it is already a part of many other words such as crisis and simple, by selecting Whole words only, only the and as a separate word will be selected neglecting the saturated words.

Case Sensitive: Selecting this option will find the results according to their letter case. For example the word “And” will result in “And” only not the “and” which has a different letter case.

Include Bookmarks: If the word (hypertension) you searched existed in the bookmarks then it also will be shown in the search results.

Include Notes: Similarly like the bookmark, your search will be conducted within the Notes/Comments.

With the advanced search, you can search all PDF files in a directory and its subdirectories in a single go. By default, if you open WPS and press CTRL + F, you’ll get the normal search box. It is located at the top right in the menu bar.

2. How to Search a Specific Word/Phrase in PDF Using Adobe Reader

  • To utilize the advanced PDF search option, select Open Full Reader Search from the search box's drop down menu or press SHIFT + CTRL + F.

  • Fill in the search box with the term you're looking for. Then, under the Where would you like to search header, choose All PDF Documents In. 

  • Navigate to the folder containing all of your PDF documents, and then select the search options.

  • Whole words only, Case-Sensitive, Include Bookmarks, and Include Comments are among the options you have to filter your search. 

  • When you click Search, all PDFs in the current folder will be scanned for your phrase. To open the file, simply click on the URL in the results.

Search Your PDF's Content in No-Time With WPS PDF App

This Article illustrated the simple and easy steps to find your desired content in a PDF using the best PDF editors i.e. WPS PDF Editor and Adobe Acrobat. You can easily find your text by pressing “Ctrl+F” or by searching from the left toolbar in the WPS PDF Editor. Further, you can find a specific phrase/text from multiple PDFs using Adobe Acrobat.


How to Search a Scanned PDF?

If you have scanned version of PDF, then simply convert it to the .txt format with the help of WPS Office OCR converter.

How Can We Search PDF?

Press Ctrl+F or locate the Find operator in WPS PDF Editor or WPS Office (Both can read and edit PDFs).

15 years of office industry experience, tech lover and copywriter. Follow me for product reviews, comparisons, and recommendations for new apps and software.