Tools You Can Use to Search Multiple PDFs


Searching for specific information within a single PDF file is relatively easy, but what if you have a collection of PDFs and need to search across multiple documents simultaneously? This task can be time-consuming and challenging without the right tools. Fortunately, there are several tools available that allow you to search multiple PDFs efficiently. In this article, we will explore some of these tools and their features to help you find the information you need.

Adobe Acrobat Pro

  • Adobe Acrobat Pro is a powerful tool for managing and working with PDF files. It offers advanced search capabilities, including the ability to search across multiple PDFs simultaneously. With its indexing feature, Adobe Acrobat Pro creates an index of the text within the PDFs, making it faster to locate specific keywords or phrases. You can refine your search by specifying criteria such as file name, metadata, or specific folders.



  • DocFetcher is a free and open-source desktop search tool that allows you to search within multiple PDF files, as well as other types of documents. It creates a searchable index of the text within the files, enabling quick and accurate search results. DocFetcher supports advanced search options, including phrase searches, wildcard searches, and boolean operators. It also offers filters to narrow down your search based on file type, size, or date modified.


Foxit PhantomPDF

  • Foxit PhantomPDF is another popular PDF viewer that provides the ability to search across multiple PDFs. Its search functionality is robust and includes options for searching by keyword, phrase, or wildcard. You can specify search parameters such as case sensitivity, whole words, or exact match. Foxit PhantomPDF also offers a batch search feature, allowing you to search for specific terms within a group of PDF files at once.


Copernic Desktop Search

  • Copernic Desktop Search is a comprehensive desktop search tool that indexes and searches various file types, including PDFs. It allows you to search for keywords or phrases across multiple PDFs, providing fast and accurate results. Copernic Desktop Search offers advanced search options, such as Boolean operators, wildcard searches, and proximity searches. It also supports file preview, making it easier to identify the relevant PDFs before opening them.



  • PowerGREP is a powerful search and replace tool that can also search within PDF files. It allows you to search for specific text or patterns across multiple PDFs simultaneously. PowerGREP supports regular expressions, which provide advanced search capabilities for complex queries. You can narrow down your search based on file attributes or specific file types, including PDF. PowerGREP’s batch processing capabilities enable you to perform repetitive searches across a large number of PDFs.



  • XPDF is a command-line tool that offers various PDF-related utilities, including searching within PDF files. It provides a simple yet effective way to search for text across multiple PDFs using specific criteria. Although XPDF is a command-line tool, there are graphical user interfaces available, such as PDFtk and PDF Chain, that make it easier to utilize its search capabilities.


In conclusion, searching across multiple PDFs can be a time-saving and efficient way to find specific information. With tools like Adobe Acrobat Pro, DocFetcher, Foxit PhantomPDF, Copernic Desktop Search, PowerGREP, and XPDF, you can streamline the process and locate the desired content within your PDF collections. Consider the features, usability, and compatibility of each tool to determine which one best suits your needs. By leveraging these tools, you can save valuable time and effort in searching and retrieving information from multiple PDF files.