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Find Words and Phrases in a PDF Using Acrobat XI Pro

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Find Words and Phrases in a PDF Using Acrobat XI Pro: A picture of the

Find Words and Phrases in a PDF Using Acrobat XI Pro: Overview

            Acrobat’s “Find” feature allows you to find word or phrases in a PDF using Acrobat XI Pro, without having to read all of the text in the document. To find words and phrases in a PDF using Acrobat XI Pro, start by choosing “Edit| Find” from the Menu Bar. The Find toolbar appears in the upper right corner of the application window. You use the “Find” feature to find words and phrases in a PDF using Acrobat XI Pro.

            Type the word or phrase you want to locate into the text box within this toolbar, and press the “Enter” key on your keyboard. Acrobat will highlight the first occurrence of the word or phrase in your active PDF. When you click the “Next” button within the Find toolbar, Acrobat displays the next occurrence of the word or phrase, again highlighting the text. You can continue clicking the “Next” and “Previous” buttons in the Find toolbar until you have reviewed all the results of your search.

Find Words and Phrases in a PDF Using Acrobat XI Pro: A picture of the "Find" toolbar within Adobe Acrobat XI Pro.

Find Words and Phrases in a PDF Using Acrobat XI Pro: A picture of the “Find” toolbar within Adobe Acrobat XI Pro.

            If you click the arrow on the right side of the text box in the Find toolbar, you will see a drop-down menu of options for using the “Find” feature. You can specify that your search results include whole words only, specify a case-sensitive search, which finds only exact matches to the casing of the word or phrase you typed, specify to search within the bookmarks, or specify to search within the comments by selecting the desired commands within this drop-down menu.

            The Find toolbar also contains a “Replace” feature. If you click the arrow next to the words “Replace with” at the bottom of the Find toolbar, the toolbar will expand slightly to include a second text box. If you enter text in the “Replace with” text box, you can then click the “Replace” button to replace the selected text that was found with the text that you typed into the “Replace” text box.

            If you want to replace all instances of the word found with the replacement word, you can do it even more quickly by simply clicking through the document using the “Replace Next” button found at the bottom of the toolbar. When you have clicked through all the occurrences of your search term, Acrobat will show you an informational pop-up message saying that it has finished searching the document, and that no more matches could be found. Once you click the “OK” button on this pop-up message, the “Find” operation is complete.

            Note that the “Find” feature in Acrobat only locates information in the active document. To locate a word or phrase across a selection of documents, you should use Acrobat’s “Search” feature. You can access the “Search” feature by clicking the drop-down arrow at the right end of the “Find” text box and then choosing the “Open Full Acrobat Search…” command from the drop-down menu that appears.

Find Words and Phrases in a PDF Using Acrobat XI Pro: Instructions

  1. To find words and phrases in a PDF using Acrobat XI Pro, start by choosing “Edit| Find” from the Menu Bar.
  2. In the Find toolbar, located in the upper right corner of the application window, type the word or phrase you want to locate into the “Find” text box.
  3. Press the “Enter” key on your keyboard.
  4. Acrobat will highlight the first occurrence of the word or phrase in your active PDF.
  5. To find the next occurrence of the same word or phrase, click the “Next” button within the Find toolbar.
  6. To find the previous occurrence of the word or phrase, click the “Previous” button in the Find toolbar.
  7. You can continue clicking the “Next” and “Previous” buttons until you have found and reviewed all the results of your search within the current PDF.
  8. To set options for the current search within the “Find” toolbar, click the arrow on the right side of the text box in the Find toolbar to see a drop-down menu of options. You can specify that your search results include whole words only, specify a case-sensitive search, which finds only exact matches to the casing of the word or phrase you typed, specify to search within the bookmarks, or specify to search within the comments by selecting the desired commands within this drop-down menu.
  9. To replace the found text with replacement text, click the arrow next to the words “Replace with” at the bottom of the Find toolbar. The toolbar will expand slightly to include a second text box.
  10. Enter the replacement text into the “Replace with” text box.
  11. Click the “Replace” button to replace the selected text that was found with the text that you typed into the “Replace” text box.
  12. To quickly replace all instances of the word found with the replacement word, continue to click the “Replace Next” button found at the bottom of the toolbar to continuously find and replace the text.
  13. When you have clicked through all the occurrences of your search term, Acrobat will show you an informational pop-up message saying that it has finished searching the document, and that no more matches could be found. Once you click the “OK” button on this pop-up message, the “Find” operation is complete.
  14. To locate a word or phrase across multiple PDF documents, instead use Acrobat’s “Search” feature, which you can access by clicking the drop-down arrow at the right end of the “Find” text box and then choosing the “Open Full Acrobat Search…” command from the drop-down menu that appears.

Find Words and Phrases in a PDF Using Acrobat XI Pro: Instructions

            You can watch the following video lesson, titled “Finding Words and Phrases,” to see how to find words and phrases in a PDF using Acrobat XI Pro. This video shows how to find words and phrases in a PDF using Acrobat XI Pro. It is from our complete Acrobat XI Pro training, titled “Mastering Acrobat Made Easy v.XI.”

 

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