In this day and age, it’s especially common to use PDF’s. In the professional world, PDF’s are commonly used due to the fact that they provide security, and are, in all honesty, easy on the eyes. PDF’s provide an aesthetically pleasing look, and can’t be edited with ease. PDF’s also provide cross platform acceptability. In fact, PDF’s were created in order to have a file format that can be opened, reviewed and printed by all computer users, no matter what system they’re using. With all the popularity PDF’s have gained over the years, it’s essential to learn how to navigate through them.

You’ve probably used the Preview application on your Mac in order to open and view PDF’s. Perhaps you even used the Preview application in order to add images to your PDF. The Preview application is Apple’s default viewing application, and is highly underrated. Preview has many essential tools, that allow you to not only view the files on your computer, but also edit and search through them. All this is very easy to carry out, and doesn’t require being an expert.

You can easily use the Preview application in order to search for contextual matches in your PDF, across all of the pages therein. The search feature will also then highlight each match in bright yellow, which will make locating every result a breeze. For example, if you wanted to search for the word “blue” in your PDF then all instances where the word “blue” appears will be highlighted in yellow.

There’s no need to download any third-party application or tool, when you have Preview. Such third-party services would also cost you money, which would be a waste. Preview is built-in on your Mac and makes the task of searching through PDF’s very simple. In order to get started and learn how you can search through PDF files on your Mac, follow the simple instructions below.

Use Preview to Search Through PDF Files

You can use the method below in order to search for matching text, phrases, words, or any term, for that matter. Even if you’re searching within a large PDF document, the method below works almost instantaneously. In order to get started and learn how to search through a PDF file on your Mac, using Preview, follow the simple instructions below.

1. Open the PDF file you would like to search through, using Preview. If the PDF file doesn’t open in Preview by default, then you can right-click on the PDF file. From the right-click menu choose Open with, followed by Preview.

2. Using the menu bar towards the top left of your screen, click on Edit.

3. From the drop-down menu that appears, click on Find.


4. In the sub-menu that opens up, select Find.

5. The search box will appear towards the top right corner of the Preview window. Type in the search term that you would like to search for in your PDF file.

6. Press the enter/return key in order to carry out the search.

highlighted in yellow

7. You’ll notice your term, if it’s written in the PDF, highlighted in yellow. If the term appears more than once, you will see many highlights across your PDF.

It’s as simple as that. You’ve carried out a search in your PDF using Preview. You can now use the next and previous buttons in order to navigate to and from prior search matches in the PDF.

If you thought the method above was easy, believe it or not, there’s a way to make the process even easier. Instead of using the menu bar to access the Find feature, you can simply use a keyboard shortcut. All you need to do is press the command + F key on your keyboard and you will be redirected to the search text field. If you’ve been a Mac user for many years now, you’ll probably note that the command + F feature is also used in Finder in order to quickly search for files. However, that’s not all.

This keyboard shortcut is also used in the Safari and Google Chrome web browsers, in order to search for matches. It is therefore very easy to remember this keyboard shortcut. You can also simply keep in mind that the word “find” begins with the letter “F”, which is the letter that is used in the keyboard shortcut.

As you can see, Preview acts as more than just a viewing application. Feel free to explore everything else that Preview has to offer. As stated above, you can even use Preview to add images to PDF’s, if need be. The application is highly underrated, and can surprisingly, accomplish various different tasks. There’s good reason as to why it’s Apple’s default viewing application.

Using Preview, you don’t have to spend tons and tons of dollars annually, in order to get your important work done. If you were to download Adobe software or anything else of the like, you’d likely have to spend tons of dollars annually in order to support the service. There’s clearly no need to resort to such methods if you’re a Mac user, who knows how to properly use Preview. So, save your time and money, by learning about Preview and all that it can do. This will make your life a whole lot easier, and will save you a great deal of money.