Have you ever needed to search for a word or phrase in multiple PDFs but you didn’t have time to search each PDF individually? Today’s tutorial shows how to search multiple PDFs simultaneously by using the Advanced Search tool in Adobe Acrobat Pro DC, Acrobat Standard DC, and Acrobat Reader DC.
This tutorial is also available as a YouTube video showing all the steps in real time.
Watch more than fifty other videos about Microsoft Word and Adobe Acrobat on my YouTube channel.
1. Select the Edit tab.
2. Select Advanced Search.
Pro Tip: PC users can type Shift + Ctrl + F instead of accessing Advanced Search through the Edit tab. Additionally, all users can access Advanced Search through Adobe Acrobat DC’s Find and Replace dialog box and Acrobat Reader’s Find dialog box.
3. Select Show More Options.
4. Select the Look In drop-down menu.
5. Select Browse for Location.
6. Select the location of the PDFs you want to search and then select OK.
7. Enter the word or phrase you want to find in the text box.
8. Select your first parameter in the Return results containing drop-down menu: Match Exact word or phrase, Match Any of the words, Match All of the words, or Boolean query.
Optional: Select the check boxes next to one or both of the additional criteria options and then select additional criteria such as Author, Date Modified, or Title.
9. Select from the remaining parameters: Whole words only, Case-Sensitive, Proximity, Stemming, Include Bookmarks, Include Comments, or Include Attachments. (Note that Acrobat and Acrobat Reader don’t allow certain parameter combinations. For example, you can’t select Proximity if you have also selected Match Exact word or phrase.)
Pro Tip: Proximity lets you search based on the distance between words or phrases. Stemming lets you find results that share the same stem (more commonly called a root) as the search term. For example, if you search for editing, your search results might also include editor.
10. Select the Search button.
11. Review the results in the dialog box.
Pro Tip: You can save the results as a new PDF or CSV (comma-separated values file). Regardless of which option you choose, the software will save the portions of the original PDFs containing the searched-for word or phrase.
Do you want to find and replace text in individual PDFs? If so, check out “How to Find and Replace Text in Adobe Acrobat DC.”