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Top 3 Methods on How to Search in a PDF on Mac

Sometimes, you may have to go through a lengthy PDF file to find a few lines of valuable information. Research students especially face this situation while reading articles to extract essential project data. You must be thinking about how to search on a PDF on a Mac to avoid this hassle. In this article, we will clarify your confusion with the help of these best methods to search for words in a PDF document on Mac.

How to Search Words on a PDF on Mac with UPDF?

UPDF for Mac is an all-in-one PDF viewer that allows you to search for any specific word or sentence in PDFs without hassle. You just have to access its "Search" mode to find any word in the lengthy documents with a single easy step. Additionally, users get the option to search for words with proper capitalization using its "Case Sensitive" feature.

Now, you don't have to go through the whole PDF file to get the information you seek. If you are wondering how to search words in a PDF on Mac, follow these simple steps to complete the job.

Step 1: Download UPDF for Free

First of all, download UPDF on your Mac from the button below. Install it, launch it, and open the PDF with it.

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Step 2: Access the Search Mode of UPDF

After opening your PDF file on the UPDF interface, click on the "Search" icon on the top-right corner of your screen. Here, you can easily write any word or phrase to find that particular content in the PDF. This will show all the results smartly according to the provided word. You can click on any of the results to access the specific page. Moreover, all the words will also be highlighted in the document for your ease.

how to search in a pdf on mac in updf

Step 3: Turn On the Search Filters

If you want to perform a more accurate search, click on the "Filter" icon present on the search bar. Then, check the "Case Sensitive" and the "Whole Words Only" options to find the exact word or phrase you are looking for.

  • Case Sensitive filter will help you search the word according to the lower or capital-case word written in the search bar.
  • On the other hand, Whole Words Only means it will only show the results that match exactly with your word.
how to search in a pdf on mac case sensitive

Video Tutorial on How to Search for a Word in PDF on Mac

How to Search Comments on a PDF on Mac with UPDF?

As discussed previously, UPDF is a multi-featured PDF viewer for Mac that helps you access information easily in lengthy PDFs. If there are some comments you want to search in a PDF on Mac, this PDF viewer will have your back. Users only need to enter the "Comment List" mode of this tool to find the required comment.

These functions are significantly helpful when you are editing the reviewed file. If you have no idea how to search on a PDF on Mac, take guidance from these simple steps.

Step 1: Enter the Comment List Mode

First and foremost, you have to launch the UPDF interface on your MacBook. Then, click on the "Comment List" feature on the bottom-right corner of your screen to access every comment in the PDF document.

how to search in a pdf on mac comment list icon

Step 2: Scroll Down the List to Find Required Comment

Now, you can scroll down the list of comments to get to the one you are finding. Once you find this particular comment, click on the comment to reach the location in the document where the comment is present. Here, you can choose to either delete or edit the comment.

how to search on a pdf on mac comment list

If you wish to find comments on your PDF document as described, download the latest version of UPDF on your device instantly by tapping the "Free Download" button below.

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Can I Search Words in a Scanned PDF on Mac?

Yes, UPDF even allows you to search words in a scanned PDF with the help of its OCR recognition feature. However, you first have to convert scanned PDFs into an editable format to find any required word or phrase. If you are wondering about how to search for a word on a PDF Mac, follow these instructions to carry out this process.

Step 1: Access the OCR Feature

Once you launch your scanned PDF on UPDF, hit the "Recognize Text Using OCR" feature to access different conversion settings. On this new sub-window, adjust the layout settings and document language to optimize the OCR conversion.

After adjusting all the settings, click the "Perform OCR" button to get the editable file. Now, open this newly converted file on UPDF to search for any word or phrase using the search feature.

how to search words on a pdf mac perform ocr

Step 2: Apply Search and Comment List Features to Carry Out Search

Finally, access the "Search" feature to find any word using the method described in Part 1 of this article. Moreover, you can also find a particular comment using the steps explained in the previous section.

To have a seamless experience of performing OCR on scanned PDFs, you should upgrade yourself to the paid version of UPDF for exceptional PDF management.

FAQs About Searching Words on a PDF Mac

Q1. How to search in a PDF on Mac with Preview?

If you are confused about how to find a word in a PDF on Mac, Preview can solve your problem. You need to access the drop-down menu of the "Edit" tab to carry out this operation. Afterward, click on the "Find" feature and write the word you want to search in the search text box to find the required content. However, Preview doesn't provide advanced and extensive features like UPDF, such as searching from a scanned document by applying OCR on it.

Q2. How to fix the Preview app not searching for words in a document?

In case the Mac Preview search feature is not working, apply these easy fixes to carry out this function. You have to check if the PDF needs OCR conversion or not because Preview can only perform this operation on searchable PDFs. Moreover, restart the Preview by force quitting it and opening the PDF again in it.Also, you should confirm that the PDF is not corrupted before searching for words. If all these solutions don't help you fix the problem, we recommend using UPDF because it has all the advanced features you need for daily document management.

Q3. How to search for a PDF on a Mac with PDF Expert?

You can search for a word on Mac with the help of the PDF Expert using these simple steps. First, open the PDF and click on the "Search Field" in the top-right corner of your screen. Now, type the word and hit enter to search for a particular word in the PDF file.

Q4. Which tool is best for searching for words in a PDF on MacBook?

UPDF is the best PDF viewer that can help you find words in a PDF through various features. Users can use the "Search" and the "Comment List" features to find the desired content in the PDF document. With its easy-to-use PDF search feature, anyone can find the required words or phrases.


We hope that this article has clarified your confusion about how to search on a PDF on a Mac. All the methods mentioned in this article can do a good enough job to fulfill this purpose. However, if you want the best PDF viewer to search words on a PDF, UPDF for Mac should be your top choice. With its cost-effective rates and multi-featured interface, this tool is accessible to all. So, click on the "Free Download" button below to get quick access to the required content in the PDF files.

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