How to Search for a Word in a PDF


• Filed to: Edit PDF

PDF has become more accessible over the years. Updates to Adobe Acrobat and the development of PDF editing software have made the format more accessible. Now performing basic functions like a word search in PDF is easy to do. There are now different ways to search PDF documents for words. Adobe Acrobat is no longer the only option available to users, thanks to PDF editing software. Users, who don't know Adobe, can use editing software for functions like how to search words on a PDF. We will explore the different options available to users. Reading this article and you will learn how to search for a word in a PDF file.

Part 1. The Best PDF Editor to Search a Word in PDF

If you need a quick, accessible PDF editing tool to solve the problem like: How to search for a word in a PDF, and then try PDFelement Pro . You will not find another PDF editing software that is as accessible or versatile as this professional. Built for both Mac and Windows, iSkysoft gives you the license to make significant changes to PDF documents. You can create, and redesign PDF in any way you deem fit. Besides searching for words, iSkysoft performs can perform editing text, images, provide password protection, highlighting, marking, conversion and many more task. Follow the steps below to learn how to search a work in a PDF with ease.

How to Search for a Word in a PDF

The process of searching PDF files for words is simple when using PDFelement. We will guide you on how to search a word in PDF with PDFelement using the step-by-step guide.

Step 1. Start PDFelement

Visit the iSkysoft website to download the software for free. After downloading the software, open the program to get the home page below.

start PDFelement

Step 2. Import a PDF

Opening files is a quick, easy process. You need only click on the "Open File" button on the bottom-left corner of the screen.

open pdf files

Step 3. Search Word and Phrase search in PDF Files

After you have opened the PDF document, you can open the "Edit" section, you can search words on PDF by simply pressing "Command + F" and typing the word and phrase you wanted in the dialog box.

search words in pdf

Step 4. Search and Highlight Multiple Words in PDF

You can even find and highlight several words in a PDF document. Simply press "Command + F" and then you can easily find the multiple words in a PDF file. After you found the words, click on the "Comment" button and select "Highlight" option. Then you can move the cursor to highlight the words in PDF document with ease.

search and highlight words in pdf

Step 5. Search for Words in a Scanned PDF

How to search for words in a scanned PDF? The first step is to perform OCR on a scanned PDF with PDFelement. Import a scanned PDF file to the program and you will immediately get a notice saying the document is scanned, and asking if you want to perform OCR. Click on "Perform OCR" button to OCR the scanned PDF. After scanning the PDF, you can open the scanned PDF document and search for words in the scanned PDF file with ease.

search for words in scanned pdf

Why Choose PDFelement to Search Words on PDF

PDFelement Pro is designed to make PDF documents more accessible. The software makes functions like how to search a PDF for a word easier to do. Those who are not familiar with Adobe Acrobat can install the iSkysoft to make significant changes to their documents. iSkysoft offers several features that are just a click of a button away. If you are working in a fast-paced business, you are not going to have a lot of time to learn new software. You will be performing functions like how to do word search PDF document in minutes. The software program is presented in an accessible, usable interface. If you need PDF editors that offer a wide variety of features with a simple to use interface, consider PDF Pro Editor. Besides, searching PDF files for words, you can perform a number of functions which include:

  • Create new fillable PDF forms.
  • Share PDF documents using cloud software.
  • Customize and organize PDF documents.
  • Split and combine PDF documents.
  • Add stamps and freehand drawings PDF documents.
PDFelement for mac

Part 2. How to Search a Word in PDF file using Java

If you are wondering how to search a word in PDF file using java, the answer is simple: A search engine. The search engine is the best method for finding words in large PDF documents. The engine can sift through all the content to find specific words and phrases. The engine will pre-parse the data and divide it into tokens. From these tokens, an index will be created. It is this index that will be used to search for matching strings of text. The search engine is a relatively simple application that can be created through Java.
To create the search engine to find words on PDF documents, follow the steps below:

Step 1. The first step to answering the question how to search for a word in PDF is to download the right software. Find and download Apache Lucene 3.6.1. Unzip the content to discover lucene-core-3.6.1.jar.

java search word in pdf

Step 2. Find and download to Apache PDFBox 0.7.3 and find pdfbox-0.7.3.jar by unzipping the downloaded file.

search word in pdf

Step 3. Seek out font box-0.1.0.jar and download it. Unzip the file to obtain font box-0.1.0.jar.

search word in pdf using java

Step 4. You must use Eclipse to create the new Java project. Go to 'Project Explorer' > 'Configure Build Path' > Add External Jars > Add lucene-core-3.6.1.jar. pdfbox-0.7.3.jar and fontbox-0.1.0.jar > Click 'Ok' Create a new class and rename it. '', this is the main class that will be used to perform actions one by one. Copy and paste the code below. You can edit the named package.

search words in pdf

Step 5. Next, create a separate class; the purpose of the class is to set and obtain items from the PDF file. You are telling the search engine to search the content from this class. Name the class After creating the new separate class, you can copy and paste the code.

search words in pdf files

Step 6. You need to create a new class to index the content from the PDF document. Rename the class and call it ''. Copy and paste the code into the class.

java search words in pdf

Step 7. The final step is to create a class that will provide features needed to query the index. Rename this new class ''. Use the code below to create the new class.

search word on pdf

Part 3. Tips about Searching PDF Files for Words

Knowing how to search for words on a PDF can be extremely beneficial. Seeking out specific words is a great way to save time when reviewing PDF documents. Students, researchers, and businessmen spend a lot of time reading through PDF documents for work and research. This is a cumbersome process especially when the documents are large and there is a lot of content to review. But by knowing how to search words on PDF, you can save time on research. The ability to seek out keywords in a long PDF document lets you confirm if the document is important to your or not.

Common Issues When Searching Words in PDF

  • If you are using Windows 7 & 8 there is no proper search tool to search PDF documents for words. Download and install Adobe iFilter.
  • On Adobe Acrobat, exact words cannot be found. To solve this problem go to Edit > Preferences > Purge Cache Contents >OK.
  • Some people claim the search tool from File Explorer does not work. To resolve this issue download the latest version of Adobe 64-bit iFilter.
  • Some users have complained about the basic search tool not working. To work around this issue, try using the Advanced Search Tool. Edit > Advanced Search.

Ivan Cook

chief Editor

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