Cisdem Learning Resource Center

How to Search A PDF on Mac For Specific Word?

Do you want to search for a specific word or key term within a pdf on mac, to cut your time and efforts to go to the exact part of the PDF file? In this article, several free ways on how to search a pdf on mac are offered, together with the best solution to search for a word within non-searchable PDF on mac.

Searchable PDF & Non-Searchable PDF

A searchable PDF includes 2 layers, image layer and text layer. In the text layer, the text content is saved and enables users to locate a specific word within the PDF. A searchable PDF is basically native PDF, which is generated from an electronic source(Word, Excel data,etc) with internal structure.

A Non-Searchable PDF is just an “image-only” pdf. There is no text layer and users cannot search by text. A non-searchable PDF is basically scanned PDF, which is created by scanning software that digitize paper document into electronic PDF file format. 

How to Search a PDF on Mac with Preview?

Preview, a free mac tool to manage PDF and images, allows users to search a specific word within PDF on mac fast and easily.
Note: Preview can only search a searchable PDF on mac.

  1. Open PDF with Preview
  2. Go to File>Edit>Find. Or you can use search toolbar in the window, even press “Command+F” to search a pdf on mac.search a pdf on mac with preview 01
  3. Input the key word you want to search in the field and the word will be highlighted in yellow as following.search a pdf on mac with preview 02

How to Search A PDF on Mac with Adobe Reader?

Assuming you are working with PDF on a regular basis, you must have a PDF editor, and much likely to be Adobe. For sure, you can use Adobe products to search a pdf on mac. But if you are being hesitate to cost some big money on subscribed Adobe Acrobat, you can still utilize the free Adobe Acorbat Reader DC to search a word within pdf on mac.

  1. Go to Adobe Acrobat Reader DC, download and install on your mac.
  2. Open PDF with Adobe Reader.
  3. Go to Edit>Find. Or just click the search icon in the panel. Even you can press “Command+F” to search a pdf on mac.search a pdf with adobe

Why a PDF Can’t be Searched? Fix it!

There are occasions that a PDF cannot be searched, but why? If you are sure that there is nothing wrong with Preview and Adobe Reader itself, there are 2 reasons that possibly lead to this.

  1. The PDF file is corrupted.
    If Preview and Adobe Reader can function properly (test with different PDF files), but a PDF cannot be searched, the PDF file may be corrupted. A PDF file can be generated from different resources and the encoding may be quite different. If it is the problem about encoding, you can go to online pdf repair service: Repair PDF Files. If still corrupted, then you have no way but to get back to the original PDF resource.
  2. The PDF is not searchable.
    At the beginning of this post, we talked about searchable PDF and non-searchable PDF. And image-based PDF (scanned pdf) is a principal reason to cause why a pdf cannot be searched on mac. In this case, the solution on how to search a pdf on mac would be making the PDF searchable before searching by text.

To make a PDF searchable, you need the aid of Cisdem PDF Converter OCR, a PDF converter for mac allowing users to convert native, scanned and encrypted PDFs into searchable and editable PDF, or other 15+ formats. It supports batch conversion, OCR performance on more than 40 languages, while keeping original file quality.

search a pdf on mac with cisdem 01

  1. Upload PDF into Cisdem PDF Converter OCR.search a pdf on mac 02
  2. Perform OCR on PDF to make “search a pdf on mac” possible.
    Once the file is uploaded to the program, choose output format as PDF, select page range. Don’t forget to turn the OCR button ON to do ocr and choose language.search a pdf on mac with cisdem 03
  3. Start conversion process to make PDF searchable.
    Click “Convert” to start doing OCR on PDF. You will get a searchable PDF within seconds. It will look exactly the same as original.search a pdf on mac
  4. Search a PDF on mac within Preview or Adobe Reader.
    Repeat the steps to search a pdf on mac with Preview or Adobe Reader.

Conclusion

As you can see, searching a pdf on mac is quite easy and requires no cost, a free Preview and Adobe Reader will be of great help. But when dealing with non-searchable PDF, you will need to make the PDF searchable first, then you can start searching a pdf on mac in Preview and Adobe.

2017-05-04 22:15:19 / Posted by to OCR PDF Mac Follow @ Rosa

Related Cisdem Recommendations

OCR PDF Mac

Convert native and scanned PDF into editable PDF, DOCX,PPTX, PAGES, XLSX, RTFD, KEYNOTE, EPUB, etc. on Mac. Learn More

PDF Password Remover Mac

The only Mac PDF Password Remover that can truly remove owner password and open password from PDF files. Learn More

More Related Articles You May Like

  • Best Chinese OCR Software to Recognize Chinese Characters Accurately

    Do you want to copy the text from image or scanned Chinese files for translation or for other usages? Here are the best Chinese OCR software for mac and Windows users respectively.

  • How to Write on a PDF on Mac?

    PDF format has become diffusely applied to share documents over the Internet. We are dealing with PDF almost every day in the office. Frankly speaking, if you want to work more expediently, you’d better make your PDF file writable. Now check out the particular solutions given in this article, hope these could help a little for your work.

  • How to Edit A Scanned Document on MacOS and Windows?

    Scanned documents take a great part of our paper work in office, and often we need to edit a scanned document to make changes. Here’s the ultimate guide to show you how to edit a scanned document on Mac and Widows.

0 Responses

Leave a Reply

Top PDF Articles

Get Inspired!

Sign up for Cisdem newsletters, stay informed on the latest products news, the hottest deals, and our holiday special sales.