5 Ways To Search For PDF On Google  

Using Google search is something we all do every day to find what we want. However, when we search for a topic or document, Google gives us many files.

Furthermore, the results also usually include different types of files. Consequently, it can be very confusing to find the right type of file we need.

Fortunately, the good news is that Google search has ways to help us find what we want more easily.

As a result, this makes it difficult to find exactly the one we want. For example, if you want a PDF file about something specific, how do you search for only PDF files on Google?

In this guide, we will provide steps to search not only PDF files on Google but also other file types.

Specifically, Google has special search operators that you can use to improve your search: in particular, these special words are called search operators or search parameters.

They help Google show you more results or specific results that are useful for what you’re searching for.

How to search for Pdf on google ?

PDF files are a popular format for sharing documents that contain text, images, and other elements.

However, finding the PDF files you need on the Internet can be a challenge, especially if you don’t know how to use Google’s advanced search features.

Moreover, in this section, we will show you how to search PDF files on Google using different methods and tips.

Follow below mentioned instructions to search your favorite pdf on Google:

Use filetype:

Have you ever wished you could easily find all the PDF files on a given topic? Well, consequently, Google has you covered.

All you need to do is start your search with “file type:pdf” followed by the topic you are interested in.

For example, let’s say you want to learn more about SEO audits. Specifically, you can search for “file type: pdf seo audit” and Google will search all the relevant PDF files just for you.

How to search for Pdf on google - use filetype:

However, in addition, don’t stop there: get even more specific by adding additional keywords like “file type:pdf seo audit technical example.” This helps ensure that you find a file with examples and technical details about SEO audits.

How to search for Pdf on google - use filetype:

And the best part? This file type magic trick works for more than just PDF files. You can search for Word documents, Excel sheets, PowerPoint presentations, and plain text files – the options are endless! Formats such as DOC, DOCX, XLS, PPT and TXT are supported.

So the next time you need to locate the perfect file for school, work, or personal projects, remember this little search trick.

Simply start with “file type:” followed by the topic terms. As a result, Google will seamlessly guide you through all the related PDF possibilities until you find the right one.

Use (-) sign and “” with filetype:pdf

In the above section we discussed that you can easily search only for PDF files on Google.

Furthermore, but did you know that you have even more filter options at your fingertips?

Additionally, Google allows you to combine different search “operators” to really narrow down your PDF search.

For example, if local SEO isn’t your thing, use “file type:pdf seo audit -local” to filter out any files that mention local strategies.

Use (-) sign and “” with filetype:pdf

Similarly, or what if a specific file just doesn’t do it for you? Excludes complete sentences with “-“.

Consequently, the possibilities are endless when you start mixing and matching these powerful operators.

Not only will it actively guide your search results, but Google will seamlessly transition between options to give you exactly what you need.

Also check: How to exclude words from Google search using search operators ?

Search PDF in specific domain

Now you have the basics to perform search for PDF on Google like an expert. Furthermore, but did you know you can enhance your PDF search skills even further?

Additionally, sometimes the best files are hidden in plain sight on specific sites. For example, let’s say you know that Moz has a gold mine of SEO-related PDF goodness.

Instead of sifting through all of Google, focus your search on “file type:pdf site:moz.com.”

Search PDF in specific domain

Similarly, don’t you find what you need? Add keywords like “-audit” to filter out unwanted files. As a result, Google will seamlessly guide you to the right Moz PDF selections.

Consequently, the possibilities are endless when targeting searches this way specifically. Therefore, Google makes it easy to actively access the best PDF sources.

Exclude search from specific domains

Google allows you to exclude domains entirely from your file type searches. For example, let’s say I wrote an epic SEO audit example but I want options beyond my site.

Specifically, I would search for “file type: pdf SEO audit example -site: wsimg.com” to eliminate any bias towards my own work. Consequently, Google will safely ignore my domain and focus elsewhere.

Exclude search from specific domains.

Moreover, you can even block multiple sites at once. Similarly, maybe you don’t need wsimg.com, daily strategy.com cluttering up my carefully curated results either.

Just chain them like ” -site:wsimg.com -site:daylightstrategy.com”.

Exclude search from specific domains.

Therefore, now Google has no choice but to dig deeper for less obvious PDF selections. As a result, you actively guide your search while maintaining complete control.

Furthermore, it’s a great way to avoid familiar favorites and discover new hidden gems.

Look for indexed PDF files of content

Do you have a phrase from your writing or from any famous book or document that you think is really good? Furthermore, you can see if others copied your words.

  • First, choose a sentence from writing. Like “There is some good in this world, and it’s worth fighting for.” This line belongs from  J.R.R. TolkienThe Two Towers.
  • Next, put the phrase in quotes. To show only PDF files, enter filetype:pdf after your search query.
Look for indexed PDF files of content
  • Add Like this: Like “There is some good in this world, and it’s worth fighting for.” -domain.com file type:pdf
Look for indexed PDF files of content
  • Google will search for that exact phrase in PDF files from other websites.

Similarly, by following the steps mentioned above, you can also check if anyone is copying your phrase or content.

Also Check: How to make Hanging Indent in Google Docs ?


In this article, we show you how to search PDF files on Google using different methods and tips. Specifically, you can use the file type operator to specify the format of the files you want to search for.

Similarly, you can use the minus sign to exclude unwanted words or phrases from your search. Furthermore, you can use quotes to find exact matches for your keywords.

And you can use the site operator to limit your search to a specific domain or website. In addition, you can also combine these operators to get more specific and relevant results for your PDF search.

Google Search is a powerful tool that can help you find PDFs on any topic, domain, or format.

Frequently Asked Question’s (FAQ’s) 

What is the shortcut for search in Chrome PDF ?

The shortcut to search in Chrome PDF is CTRL + F12. This will open the search bar to search the current page for any word or phrase you enter. You can also use CTRL + G to jump to the next match or CTRL + SHIFT + G to jump to the previous match.

Why can’t I search a PDF document ?

However, you cannot search a PDF document if it is scanned, compressed, encrypted, or does not have a text layer or Unicode tables. Consequently, You must use special software or tools to convert, decompress, decrypt, add text layers, or repair Unicode tables. You can use Adobe Acrobat or other online tools to do this.

Can Google search read PDF ?

Google can read PDF files as long as they are not password protected or encrypted. It can index the textual content and images of PDF files using OCR algorithms. Google can also follow links and pass PageRank and other signals from PDF files.

Smith Ron, the writer at Assistme360. He has extensive experience in crafting straightforward, step-by-step guides for technical issues. His broad knowledge ensures accurate solutions. Kindly spare a moment to drop a comment down and express your opinions. Your feedback can be valuable in assisting others who may come across similar problems.

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