I stumbled upon a nice tool to search text in multiple PDF files. It is called
pdfgrep (project homepage). As the name suggests, it can be used like grep. This should not frighten anyone not familiar with grep, the most simple way to use it is
pdfgrep something *.pdf
which will search for ‘something’ in all pdf documents in the current folder. I usually add
-ni, which shows me the page number (
-n) and is case insensitive (
-i). Here is one example:
As you can see, it takes some time to browse through all files, in this case 13s for 73 MB of PDF files.
For Windows users who search regularly through many pdf files, there is another tool which speeds this proces up a lot. It is integrated in the Adobe Acrobat Pro version, it is called ‘Catalog’.