How to Search for PDF on Google

The PDF (Portable Document Format) format is everywhere on Google due to its universal compatibility, compact file size, and searchable text.

With countless PDF files on the Internet, pinpointing the one you need seems to be daunting. In this article, we’ll introduce you to several techniques to enhance your online search skills.

You’ll learn how to search a PDF on Google using basic search operators, using site-specific commands, and using online free tools to organize or edit your downloaded PDFs.

Ready to embark on the journey with us? Let’s unlock the secret of PDF searches on Google now.

Search Basics and Techniques

Using Google Search Engine

The easiest way to search for a PDF on Google is to use the right keywords and phrases to find the PDF file you are looking for.

Input a simple query, such as the title or the publish time of the document to the search box and see what will happen.

Be sure to place quotation marks around your search phrase to increase the accuracy of your search results.

For example, input “home improvement guide pdf” in Google, and you’ll see the search results that include PDF files relevant to home improvement guides.

In addition, since you’re looking for a PDF or a specific file type, prefixing your search keywords with a search operator will help you narrow down the search results. That will bring us to the next part.

Using Search Operators

Using search operators will extremely speeding up your pace in seeking a PDF. Here are some search operators you can use to refine your search:

  • filetype: This operator helps you find specific file types. 

For instance, to find a PDF file of a home improvement guide, simply type filetype: pdf home improvement guide in the search box. The formula here is filetype: pdf+a specific topic you are looking for.

  • site: This operator helps you restrict the search results to a specific website or domain.

If you know the website or domain where the PDF file is hosted, try this search operator. For instance, type in home improvement. You’ll see the search results from the Wikipedia website related to home improvement.

  • intitle: This operator helps you find pages with a specific word or phrase in the title. For example: “intitle: home improvement company in New York” will show pages that have “home improvement company in New York” in their title.

Other commonly uses search operators that may help with discovering a PDF file are: 












Combine these search operators with your search query to improve the accuracy and relevance of your search results. You can find the PDF file with a greater chance by using these search operators to tailor your search queries.

Find PDF Files on Specific Websites

Searching for PDF files on specific websites improves your productivity by allowing you to spend more time analyzing the information you find.

In this section, we will discuss two methods to help you find PDFs on specific websites: Google Search Customization and Utilizing Site-Specific Commands.

Google Search Customization

Customizing your Google search means being specific and creative by combing the search operators we’ve introduced above.

For example: filetype: pdf home improvement guide – contractors.

This command will search for PDF files related to the search query “home improvement guide” but without the ones about contractors.

Remember to replace “home improvement guide” with the query you want to search and “contractors” with the phrase you don’t want to see.

Utilizing Site-Specific Commands

Sometimes you might know the exact website where the PDF file you are looking for is located. That’s when you can use a site-specific search command to save time.

To do this, type “site:” followed by the website’s domain name and your search query, like this: site: domain name “file name” filetype: pdf.

This command will search only within the specified website for PDF files containing the given search query. 

Feel free to search for a PDF file using these techniques. The more you use it, the more efficient your Google search process will be.

Organizing and Editing PDFs Online

After you find and download the PDF file you wanted, how can you find them easily every time? How to optimize, organize, and edit it online for free?

In this section, we will show you how to organize and edit PDFs by using online tools that can help streamline your workflow. Specifically, we will use the tool ONEPDF.

Bookmarking PDF Files

When you dealing with a large number of PDFs, it’s easy to lose track of their locations and names. Bookmarking PDF files can help with this issue. Here’s how to do it:

  1. Use the techniques we’ve showed you in the first section to conduct a Google search for PDF files(e.g., file type: home improvement guide). 
  2. Open the desired PDF file in your web browser. 
  3. Bookmark the PDF file in your browser by pressing Crtl+ D or selecting the “Bookmark this Page” option from your browser’s menu.

Now, you can quickly and easily access your PDF files from your bookmarks whenever you need to.


If you prefer to download the PDF file to your computer and then use another software tool to edit it, ONEPDF is a great choice. Here’s how it works:

  1. Uploading your PDF files to the ONEPDF platform.
  2. Use the various editing features, such as:
    1. Compressing PDF
    2. Merging and splitting pdf files
    3. Removing pages
    4. Adding page numbers
    5. Rotating and watermarking PDF files
    6. Encrypting and signing PDF
  3. Save your changes and download the modified PDF files to your device.

With ONEPDF, you can organize and edit your PDFs easily, without the need for installing additional applications. 

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the easiest way to search for PDF files online?

The easiest way to search for PDF files online is to use a search engine such as Google. Use the search operations to specify the file type and your search query. For example, if you are looking for a PDF file on “how to find a PDF,” you can type “how to find a PDF PDF” in the search bar. 

Another way to search for PDF files is to use websites that host PDF files such as This kind of website has a large collection of PDF files related to various topics.

Is there a trick to refining Google searches for PDFs?

Here are some tips that can help you find PDF files more easily:

1. Use the “filetype” operator

2. Use specific keywords

3. Use quotes

4. Use Google’s advanced search feature. You can filter your search results by language, region, date, and file type.

5. Use related: For example, if you want to find PDF files related to the website “,” type “related: filetype: pdf” in the search bar.

Can I search within a PDF using Google Chrome?

Yes, you can search within a PDF using Google Chrome. Here is how to do it:

1. Open the PDF file in Google Chrome: Click on the PDF file and select “Open with” and then choose Google Chrome. 

2. Open the search bar: Press Ctrl + F (on Windows) or Command + F ( on Mac).

3. Type the word you want to search for.

4. Meanwhile, Google Chrome will highlight all the instances of the keywords you searched for in the PDF file.

5. Use the “Previous” and “Next” buttons to look up in the search results.

Note that this feature is only available in Google Chrome and may not work with other web browsers. The time it takes you to find the keywords depends on the PDF’s text extraction function and your broadband speed.

How do I upload a PDF file for others to find on Google?

To upload a PDF file for others to find on Google, you need to:

  1. Create a website: Use the website builder’s file manager to upload the PDF file.
  2. Optimize the PDF file: Adding a descriptive title, meta description, and keywords to optimize the PDF file.
  3. Submit the website to Google: Using Google Search Console, a tool that allows you to monitor your website’s performance on Google.
  4. Share the link to your PDF file: To help more people find your PDF, you can share the link to your PDF file on other websites.