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Search inside multiple PDFs at once

January 17, 2018

I had to search for a word across multiple PDFs in a single folder, and didn’t know if there was a way to do that. Off to Google, where I found these excellent instructions: https://www.online-tech-tips.com/computer-tips/how-to-search-for-text-inside-multiple-pdf-files-at-once/.

In case these instructions ever disappear, here’s a short version of the steps:

  1. Open any PDF in Adobe Reader or Adobe Acrobat.
  2.  Press Shift+Ctrl+F to open the Search panel.
  3. Select the All PDF Documents in option.
  4. Click the dropdown list arrow to show all drives. This is not an expandable list, so to specify a particular folder, select Browse for Location, navigate to and select the folder you want to search, then click OK.
  5. Type the word or phrase to search.
  6. Optional: Select any other search filter criteria (e.g. whole words only, case-sensitive). Note: At the bottom of the panel is a link to Show More Options if the filter criteria you want is not listed.
  7. Click Search.
  8. When the results are displayed, click on a result to open that PDF at the first instance of the word you searched for. Other instances within the same PDF are listed under the PDF location in the search results.

This just saved me a heap of time!

Update 29 March 2021: For other tools that do this (with screen shots and a list of pros and cons for each), see https://seekfast.org/blog/search-text-in-documents/how-to-search-text-in-multiple-pdf-files-in-windows/

3 comments

  1. Useful! Thank you!


  2. This post arrived at the perfect time! Thanks.


  3. Hi,
    Is there any possibilities to find tables from multiple PDF documents in which the keyword “Table” is not present.
    Could u please answer this ASAP.
    Thank you



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