Searching for multiple words within a PDF


CC 2.0 image courtesy Paul van de Velde on Flickr


While editing a PDF document, I was trying to locate multiple words that needed to be removed, Instead of searching for each word individually, I thought there must be a simpler way. Luckily, there is.


The steps below outline how to find any instance of a word.

  1. Open the PDF in Adobe Acrobat or Adobe Acrobat Reader
  2. Click Edit > Advanced Search on the menu bar or specify Shift+Ctrl+F
  3. Within the Search window, select In the current document
    Note: You can also search across multiple PDFs within a directory if you select All PDF Documents in combined with Browse for Location in the drop-down menu
  4. Specify the string of words to locate in the text box
    Note: The words should be separated by spaces only. For example, Always Closed Ensure Guarantee License Prevent Should.
  5. Click Show More Options near the bottom of the Search window
  6. Select Match Any of the words in the Return results containing drop-down. This tries to find at least one instance of the words to search for.
  7. Click Search to execute the request
    Note: Depending on your search requirements, specifying “Whole words only” might trim your results



About Ken Cenerelli
I am a technical writer/programmer writer/content developer, .NET developer, Microsoft MVP, public speaker, blogger, and Microsoft Azure nerd. I blog about technology at and am on Twitter via @KenCenerelli.

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