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Searching pdfs search acrobat user guide select an article on this page search and replace features overview access the search features and it searches indexed structure tags when searching a pdf index if some of the pdfs you search have attached pdfs you can include the attachments in the search. Edit article how to search for a word or phrase in a pdf document three methods adobe reader dc google chrome browser preview on mac community qa this wikihow teaches you how to find a specific word or phrase in a pdf document using free adobe reader dc application or the google chrome browser for mac and pc or by using the preview application on a mac. Available only for searching multiple pdfs or pdf indexes note you cannot run wildcard searches using asterisks or question marks when searching pdf indexes click use advanced search options near the bottom of the search window pane to display the advanced search information. To use the advanced pdf search option you can choose advanced search from the edit drop down menu or press shift ctrl f go ahead and enter the phrase you are searching for in the search box next choose the all pdf documents in option under where would you like to search heading. There are a number of programs available for word searching in pdf files some large and expensive commercial solutions and some freeware i have tried just about all of them as i have a large collection of pdf files which i often want to search through