However, one area where people sometimes struggle when it comes to PDFs is searching through them. Finding a specific piece of text in one PDF is no issue — you just type it into the search box. The problems can arise when you have numerous PDFs to look through. You can search multiple Word files at once straight from your desktop — you just use the built-in search functionality of Windows.

After all, Adobe is the company which developed this format, so it makes sense that their program would lead the way. That is why we will pay the most attention to it.

How to Search in PDF on Mac with Preview

So if you happen to be using it, this is the procedure you need to follow. After launching the program, look in the top right part of the screen. There, you will see the search box. The problem is this makes searching all of the files simaltanesouly impossible, so far as I can see.


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You could then simply scroll through them or use the down arrow key to navigate one by one. Does anyone have an idea how to get this functionality back?

Using Acrobat, index multiple PDF files and do instant full text searches

Are there any Preview alternatives that will do this quickly and easily show every search instance in a visual pane that can be easily manipulated? Posted on Feb 2, AM. Page content loaded.

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See my previous post on High Sierra Preview changes here. Though one can still open multiple image files in a single window, this capability has been removed from Preview. Adobe Acrobat Reader DC allows you to specify a folder on your machine that contains multiple PDF files, and will perform an advanced search across those files.

Results are shown in a side-bar list by document, with expandable lists for each document search match.

It looks like this:. I could have initially selected both PDF files in the Finder and then opened both in Reader even in their own tabs - see Reader Preferences : General before choosing the Advanced Search tool. This however, limits the search to the current document tab, and will not scan both open documents.

How To Search for Text in Multiple PDF Files at the Same Time

Feb 2, AM. OK, this is something of a workaround.

Why is search in PDF files so useful?

Not ideal and much slower in performance, but it will have to do. Much better than nothing!

How To Use OneDrive To Search Images And Documents By The Text In Them

Such a bummer they pulled this from Preview. It made the app so powerful.


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