How to Search a PDF on Mac

Alicia Santos

Mac, Tutorials

Searching for specific information in a PDF document can be a time-consuming task. However, if you are a Mac user, you’re in luck!

Mac provides an easy and efficient way to search for specific content within PDF files. In this tutorial, we will explore the step-by-step process of searching a PDF on Mac.

Step 1: Open the PDF Document
To begin, locate and open the PDF document you want to search using your preferred PDF reader on your Mac.

Step 2: Access the Search Functionality
Once the PDF document is open, navigate to the top menu bar and click on the “Edit” option. From the dropdown menu, select “Find” or use the shortcut key combination Command + F.

Step 3: Enter Your Search Query
A search bar will appear at either the top or bottom of the screen, depending on your PDF reader. In this search bar, type in your desired keyword or phrase that you want to find within the document.

Step 4: Use Advanced Search Options (If Available)
Some PDF readers offer additional advanced search options that can help refine your search even further. For example, you may have options to specify whether you want to match case sensitivity or search within specific sections of the document. Take advantage of these options if they are available to you.

Step 5: Navigate Through Search Results
After entering your search query, press Enter or click on “Next” to initiate the search process. The PDF reader will automatically find and highlight all instances of your keyword or phrase within the document.

  • To view each occurrence of your searched term individually, click on “Next” or use Command + G.
  • Conversely, if you want to go back to the previous occurrence, click on “Previous” or use Command + Shift + G.

Step 6: Refine Your Search (If Needed)
If your initial search query yields too many results or is not specific enough, you can refine your search by modifying your keyword or phrase. Simply go back to the search bar and enter a different search term. The PDF reader will instantly update the search results according to your new query.

Step 7: Close the Search Functionality
Once you have completed your search and found the desired information, it’s time to close the search functionality. To do this, simply click on the “X” icon in the search bar or press Esc on your keyboard.

Congratulations! You have successfully learned how to search for specific content within a PDF document on your Mac. This feature can save you valuable time and effort when working with lengthy PDF files.


In conclusion, Mac provides a user-friendly and efficient way of searching for specific information within PDF documents. By following the steps outlined in this tutorial, you can easily locate desired content without having to manually scan through each page. Take advantage of this feature to enhance your productivity and streamline your workflow when working with PDF files on your Mac.

Remember, mastering these small but powerful features can significantly improve your overall experience with using digital documents. So start exploring and uncovering hidden gems within your PDFs today!

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