How to Search for a Word or Phrase in One or a Series of PDFs

“Find” in a PDF on a PC

Recently I received the following email from Kathy Izzo, a subscriber to Quick Tech Tips for Seniors. She queried:

“Can I search for a word or phrase in a PDF document?  I’m researching a particular topic and downloaded a variety of PDF files on the topic and read about ‘……..’ ( a psychological term) in one of the PDF documents but don’t recall which one.

Rather than read through each of them again I’m wondering if I can search for that term in each of the PDF’s.”

Before I had a chance to respond, she had already discovered the answer:

“I’m so excited I figured out the answer to my question myself.  You may already know this, but just in case, if you open the PDF file, then on your computer go to “Edit,” then to “Find” and a little dialog box opens in the top right hand corner of the PDF file.  You type in your word or phrase and Adobe Reader does a search through the document.”

Although I’ve been using the “Edit” menu for years, only recently have I learned about/paid attention to “Find” which you can also access by the Keyboard Shortcut – on a PC – Control Key plus the letter “f” and on a Mac the Command Key plus “f.”  

“Find” in a PDF on a Mac

See examples of other “Find” searches, on Web pages and in Documents, here on Technology for Seniors Made Easy.

Have your own question? Leave it in the Comments section below.

How to Search for a Word or Phrase in a Document on PCs and MacIntosh Computers

Did you ever find yourself wanting to correct or replace a word, or phrase, that you’ve used more than once in a Word document?  You go searching through the pages, hoping that your eyes caught them all.  You’re pretty sure you have and you may still be left with some doubts.

Well, there is an easy cure for that anxiety.  It’s simply to use the “Find” or Search feature within your computer. First, open your document and click on the Edit link in the tool bar.  Or you can use the keyboard shortcut, the Control Key plus the letter “f” on a PC or the Command Key, plus the letter “f” on a Mac.

To make replacement changes, when you find the word remember to highlight it. Then use Control or Command “x” to delete it. Next edit what’s there or type in your new word.

Finally, when you are satisfied that you have the word or phrase you wish, highlight and “Copy” that (Control or Command “c”) Then Paste it over the one you wish to replace.

Find in a Word Document on PC

 When you click on Control f to search for words or phrases in a document a pop-up window opens up.

Note: If the document above looks slightly different from yours, I use Open Office, a Free program, on my PC. It has the same features as Word and is compatible with it.

On Your MacIntosh Computer
Find in a Document on a Mac

Command f, i.e. Find, in a Word Document on a Mac brings up a pop-up window for you to type in your desired search word(s).

GPS Data Precautions – Story

Recently in going through some saved emails, I found this from 2009. The source is unknown.  I don’t know if the story is actually true or not AND, it certainly could be.

A couple was said to have their car broken into while they were at a football game. Their car was parked on the green which was adjacent to the football stadium and specially allotted to football fans.

Things stolen from the car included a garage door remote control, some money and a GPS which had been prominently mounted on the dashboard.

When the victims got home, they found that their house had been ransacked and just about everything worth anything had been stolen.
The thieves had used the GPS to guide them to the house. They then used the garage remote control to open the garage door and gain entry to the house.

The thieves knew the owners were at the football game, they knew what time the game was scheduled to finish and so they knew how much time they had to clean out the house. It would appear that they had brought a truck to empty the house of its contents.

Something to consider if you have a GPS
Do NOT put your home address in it. Put a nearby address (like a store or gas station) so you can still find your way home if you need to, but no one else would know where you live if your GPS were stolen.

Even if you do not have a GPS, be sure you do not have anything in your car with your home address in your glove compartment or any place else.

Copy, Cut, Paste, Redo – Edit Keyboard Shortcut Tips on PCs and Mac Computers

There are many keyboard shortcuts you can use when you are typing and editing a Text or Word document or an email post and want to cut something out, or perhaps copy and place in another document or email.  In this post, I am highlighting the ones I use most frequently.

In another article on Technology for Seniors Made Easy I wrote about how to enlarging and reducing fonts so you can read posts and pages more easily on the web.  In that one we discussed how to use the Control key (on the PC) or Command key (on Mac)  with  the + (plus) or  – (minus) keys.

In the screen shots below you see the ones I most use.  I added the red lines to so you can see them more quickly.

In editing the first thing necessary to do for most of these commands is to highlight that section that you want to work with (cut or copy and place in another form)

Edit Menu on a PC –


Edit Menu on a Mac –

How to Create a BCC – Blind Copy email field in PC and MAC computer mail programs

The following is a followup on  my post on email courtesy.  In this post I am addressing protecting the privacy of people whose addresses are  sent within the body of emails that you may forward. You can eliminate strangers seeing these addresses by using the “BCC, i.e. “Blind Copy” field.

Following is a quick explanation of how to create that BCC field.

Directions below are for the Mail program in my MAC and the Windows Mail program in my PC – Windows Vista program.

In both cases the first thing necessary is to Open a NEW email. Then,

in the MAC Mail program, click on:

1 – View and

2 – Select/check the Cc and Bcc Address Fields.

You’ll note there is now a section for names to be “Blind Copied”. Continue reading

Web Reading Made Easy – Using Your Keyboard and Mouse to Enlarge the Fonts You See

Do you ever receive email where the type (font size) is very small and difficult to read? Or, conversely, you go to an Internet web page and, again, the font is very small and challenging to follow?

The are a few ways that you can make what you want to read easier on your eyes. It’s my intent, with Technology for Seniors Made Easy,  to make using your computer and the web as simple as possible.  Thus, rather than give you drop down menus instructions and a lot of details,  I direct you to your keyboard.

Continue reading

How to Text Message on the iPhone

Before I purchased my iPhone I had no desire to have text messaging on my cell phone. It was only after I finally purchased my iPhone that I got into text messaging.

Texting is a feature that has to be set up first with your phone service provider.  If you have not set up a plan with your provider, you may be in a situation where you will be charged for both incoming and outgoing text messages.  More than likely your phone company has a package they will offer you that can combine with other services.  Shortly after I did choose to add unlimited texting to my phone service, I found it most helpful in my business and then in a wide variety of other situations.

Now, on to how to work with text messages on your iPhone.

For the visual demonstration, click on the arrow to see the video. If you wish to view it full screen, click on square icon on the bottom bar to the far right.

Continue reading

How to Set Ringtones in the iPhone

The iPhone comes preloaded with a wide variety of sounds and rhythms.  Many more can be purchased in the iTunes store.  I am quite happy with the simplicity of what’s already available.

You have your choice of tones for:
1. what’s heard when your phone rings
2. adding distinguishing sounds to various alerts.

Or, you can choose none. Click on the arrow to see a demonstration.

Continue reading

Recording, Storing and Sending Voice Memos Using Evernote

 Today I want to share my excitement around Evernote, a free software program that you can download from the web. It can be used to quickly save notes, recipes, memos, documents, photos and much more.

I love using Evernote and I love, love, love making new discoveries and then sharing them. This morning as I was doing my daily journaling it occurred to me that I might be able to record audio notes to myself and store them by category in Evernote.

One of the benefits I have enjoyed on my iPhone is the Voice Memos feature.  The challenge has been remembering what I record.  If I don’t label it immediately it gets lost in a long list of memos on my phone.

 As soon as I finished my journaling this morning I went to my phone, opened Evernote, clicked on the microphone icon and did a quick recording. You can also record from your computer. A little icon showed up when I was finished recording and it remained on the “new note” I had created. Continue reading