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How To Search Multiple PDF Files at the Same Time

This guide shows how to search multiple pdf files at once with Adobe, and how to find the text you are looking for in all the PDFs saved in a specific folder.

How many times you wanted to search for a specific keyword or phrase in multiple PDF files? You probably had to open the files one by one, and had to manually search by using the Ctrl+F function on each file.

This guide shows you how to search on multiple PDF files without having to open them one by one, and this solution will make your search fast and easy.

Given you are reading this guide, you will likely be interested in an even more advanced way of searching on multiple files, how to search multiple PDFs at the same time with PDF X-Change.

Let’s see how to do it.

How To Search Multiple PDF Files at the Same Time

In order to search a keyword or phrase in multiple PFD files, you only need Adobe Acrobat Reader (which you probably already have in your computer).

If you have it installed, we are ready to follow the steps below:

  • Save all the PDF files in the same folder
  • Open any PDF file in the folder with Adobe
  • Press Shift+Ctrl+F to open the Search panel
  • On the Search panel, under “Where would you like to search?” select “All PDF Documents in”
  • Select the “Browse for Location…” option, and then select the folder where your PDF files are saved in
  • Now type the keyword or phrase you want to search in the “What word or phrase would you like to search for?” input box. In our case we tried for the word “Revenue” in a set of reports from a grocery retail company (Tesco)
  • Now click Search and you will see your results being shown in a pane like the below. It shows all the PDF files where your keyword or phrase has been found, and by clicking on each of them, it will open the page of the PDF file which has that result
  • Note that here you can refine your search by selecting “Whole words only”, “Case-sensitive” etc. later in the search, there will be even more refining tools you can use (see further below)
  • Now that you have your results, if you are not satisfied, at the bottom of the screenshot above, there is a “Refine Search Results” option, click on it, and a panel like the below will open
  • Here you can finally refine further your search by filtering for different options

Now you know a fast way to search keywords and phrases in multiple PDF files at once, and can now save time and efforts and optimise your research work.


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