Search for Text Inside Multiple PDF Files

Search pdf using ultrafinder

Usage of PDF files has been increased in most organizations because its the preferred file format for sharing documents. The reason behind this is that the PDF file is locked and no one else can edit or change the content of the PDF file. So no accidental or unwanted damage can be done to the PDF format, wherein Word document, anyone could make changes.  It has become a standard practice among the people to use PDF doc files for their reports, annual reports, academic studies, user manuals, etc.

Search for Text Inside Multiple PDF Files

But what if you are dealing with multiple PDF files at the same time and want to search for a particular topic among them? Will you open each PDF file one by one and search for a particular topic? Believe me, this approach would take a lot of time and is not worth the effort. So now the question arises, what is the alternative? Well, don’t worry in this article we will list various methods to search for text inside multiple PDF files. On Windows PC, searching for a particular topic is easier under a Word document as Windows indexes all the text inside the Word file but the same is not true for PDF files.

Search for Text Inside Multiple PDF Files

Method 1: Using Adobe Acrobat Reader

Adobe Reader is the most common tool used for accessing PDF files on Windows PC. So in order to open PDF files on your PC, first you need to download & install Adobe Acrobat Reader. In order to search for a topic or text from multiple PDF files, you need to use the “Adobe PDF search” feature.

1. To open Advanced Search Box, you need to navigate to the Edit section and select Advanced Search from the menu or simply press “SHIFT+CTRL+F” keys together.

navigate to Edit section and select Advanced Search or simply press “SHIFT + CTRL + F” to open advance search in adobe reader

2. Next, enter the search term (or topic) you are looking for in the Search box.  Choose the option “All PDF Documents in” under the heading “Where would you like to search”.

enter the search term you are looking for in the search box

3. Now browse to the location of all the PDF files stored under a particular directory and select that location then click on the Search button. 

Now browse to the location of all the PDF files stored under a particular directory

Note: You can also select any other search filter criteria such as Include Comments, Case-sensitive, etc. If you can’t see the search filters then click on the link Show More Options at the bottom of the panel.

4. You can then review the results when they appear on your screen.

Method 2: Search for text inside multiple PDF files using Foxit Reader

Like Adobe Acrobat Reader, this software is also used to access PDF files. Foxit Reader has some advance features due to which people prefer to use this instead of Adobe Acrobat Reader. If you have already installed Foxit Reader, you can follow the below-mentioned steps to find the text you are looking for in multiple PDF files:

1. Open Foxit Reader on your system.

2. Click on the folder search icon on the top right corner of the search box.

3. A pop-up window opens on the right side of the screen. Choose All PDF Documents in and select the Directory where you want to search the multiple PDF files.

Choose All PDF Documents in and select the Directory where you want to search the PDF then type the Keyword

4. Next, type the Keyword you want to search for and click on the Search button.

5. You will be able to see the desired search result on your screen.

Also read: Fix Unable to open PDF files in Internet Explorer

Method 3: Search for text inside multiple PDF files using Ultrafinder

Ultrafinder is the best search tool with an advance search feature. You can search for the content even if you’re unable to find the PDF file in your drive or forgot the filename of the PDF. But you should remember the content of the PDF file that you want to search.

To search for text inside multiple PDF, follow the below steps:

1. Download & Install Ultrafinder from this link.

2. Open the Ultrafinder Application.

3. Navigate to Find File option under the Find settings tab.

4. Now select the File contents radio button if you want to search within the content of PDF files or select File and folder names option if you want to search within the files or folders on your computer.

5. In our case, select the File contents radio button and type your search query (or a particular topic or heading) under Find What search box.

6. Now click on the Add Folder icon under Find Where search bar to choose the Drive under which you want to search for the content under multiple PDF files.

Search for text inside multiple PDF files using Ultrafinder

7. From the In files/types dropdown select *.pdf.

8. After proceeding with the above step click on the Start search button to search for the file as shown below.

Search pdf using ultrafinder

That’s it, your search result will be displayed under the Session tab on the right side of the window.

Method 4: Use SeekFast

SeekFast, on the other hand, is a quite good application to search for a particular term under multiple PDF files.

1. You can easily download seekFast from here.

2. Next, open the application and type your search query into the search box, present the top of the SeekFast window.

3. Below the search box, click on the Browse button and navigate to the folder where your PDF files reside. Select that particular folder and click OK.

Use SeekFast to search for text in multiple PDF files

4. Finally, click on the Search button.

Method 5: Search for text inside multiple PDF files using Windows Search

Although PDF files are not indexed by Windows File Explorer, but you can still use Windows search to search for text inside multiple PDF files. All you need to do is to allow the PDF files to be index in Windows Search. To do so, follow the below steps:

1. Navigate to Start Menu Search Bar and search for Indexing options. Click on the search result to open.

Click on ‘Indexing Options’.

2. Indexing options window will pop up, click on the Advanced button.

Indexing options window will pop up, click on the Advanced button.

3. Now, switch to File types tab, scroll down and look for PDF option. Checkmark the PDF option and select the Index Properties and File Contents radio button at the bottom then click OK.

Check the PDF checkbox if not already and select the Index Properties and File Contents radio button then click on Ok.

4. Next, you need to add the PDF folders into the index list. To do so, click on the Modify button then choose the folder where your PDFs are located and click on the OK button. This will successfully add the selected folders for indexing PDF files.

Add the PDF folders into the index list. To do so, click on Modify. Then choose the folder

5. Once the indexing of PDF files is finished, you can search for the particular topic or text in multiple PDF files at once using the File Explorer Search.

Note: Make sure whatever you are searching inside PDF files is saved in text format because it the content is in image format then you won’t be able to search for particular text or content using any of the above methods. In fact, if the content is the image format, nobody can help you in searching for anything inside these PDF files.

Also Read: How to Insert a PDF into a Word Document

People who usually deal with multiple PDF files such as academic scholars, researchers, etc can easily find the required topic & text within multiple PDF files. They can easily skim through the large PDF files search process and find the exact text in the particular PDF file.

Hopefully, the above-mentioned methods will help you find your text in multiple PDF files easily. However, sometimes you may need to use a third-party app to help perform the above function successfully.

Posted by
Elon Decker

Elon is a tech writer at TechCult. He's been writing how-to guides for about 6 years now and has covered many topics. He loves to cover topics related to Windows, Android, and the latest tricks and tips.

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