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How To Search a Document on iPhone

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It’s easy to search a document in macOS by simply pressing the “Command + F” buttons on the keyboard. But, things are different on mobile iOS. If you haven’t used an iPhone for long, you probably haven’t mastered using each and every feature on the device. For that, you want to know how to search for a document on your iPhone.

Quick Answer

The search feature on iPhone is available on the home screen. When you swipe down the screen, a search bar together with a shortlist of Siri suggested apps are immediately revealed. By typing anything on the search bar, you’ll be able to find results from apps, web, messages, shared links, contacts, files, etc. However, the steps to search a document vary in each app, but generally, everything is easy.

We’ll discuss all these in detail below. Rest assured that by the end of this article, you’ll be able to search a document in the various apps on your iPhone with ease. 

6 Methods To Search a Document on iPhone

We’ve mentioned above that the methods to search a document on iPhone are different depending on the app on which the document is stored. But, there’s nothing to worry about; the difference is slight, and you won’t have any difficulty.

Method #1: Search a Note in the Notes App

The Notes app has had a lot of improvements over the past few years. Searching for a word, especially in the latest releases of iOS, is now under a different menu. In general, these are the steps to follow.

  1. Open the “Notes” app.
  2. Locate and click the menu button (a circle with three dots).
  3. The menu provides you with a variety of options – choose “Find In Note.”
  4. This option will allow you to search for specific keywords for any document in the app. You can even search handwritten texts.
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The document/word search function in the Notes app isn’t case-sensitive. That means searching for a word like “Name” is the same as searching for “name.” Additionally, this search feature also treats spaces in the search queries as separate characters. For example, “Search box” is different from “Searchbox.”

Method #2: Search a Document in the Files App

The File app allows you to access, view, and run commands on documents stored in various storage services, all in one place. In other words, you can find and manage all your files, whether they are stored in the iPhone’s internal storage or elsewhere (Google DriveMicrosoft OneDriveiCloud Drive, and Dropbox) via Apple’s Files app.   

Here are the steps to search a document in the Files app on iPhone:

  1. Open the “File” app on the home screen.
  2. Choose where your document is located and click on it. For example, it could be stored on your iPhone’s internal storage. 
  3. Click on the document you wish to search.
  4. Tap on the magnifying glass icon at the top of the screen.
  5. Tap and enter the keyword you want to search for in the typing area.

Method #3: Search a Document in the Pages App

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Before you get started, please note that PDF files aren’t supported (not viewable) on the Pages App. Use Method #2 above if you want to search for a PDF file

Here are the steps to search a document in the Pages App on iPhone:

  1. Open the “Pages” app on the home screen.
  2. Choose the location of your document.
  3. Click on the document you wish to search.
  4. Tap on the three-dot icon at the top of your document.
  5. Scroll down and click on “Find.”
  6. Click on the typing area and enter the word or phrase you want to search for.

Method #4: Search a Download or Saved Document in Safari

  1. Open the Safari browser from the home screen.
  2. Tap on the “Downloads” icon found on the left hand of the search bar. 
  3. If you don’t find the “Downloads” icon, click instead on the “aA” icon.
  4. Click on the “Downloads” option.
  5. Click on the document you wish to search.
  6. Tap on the magnifying glass icon at the top of the screen.
  7. Tap and enter the phrase you want to search for in the typing area.

Method #5: Search a PDF Document in Adobe Acrobat Reader

PDF files aren’t viewable on Files App. So, the Adobe Acrobat Reader is the best option for you if you want to search for a document in PDF format. 

  1. Open the Adobe Acrobat Reader app on the home screen.
  2. You’ll see a list of documents available in the app. Tap on the one you want to search.
  3. Click on the magnifying glass icon at the top of the screen.
  4. Tap and enter the word you want to search for in the typing area.

Method #6: Search for a Document in Google Docs

  1. Open the Google Docs app on the home screen.
  2. Click on the document you wish to search.
  3. Tap the three-dot icon on the right-hand section of the screen.
  4. Tap the “Find and Replace” option.
  5. Tap and enter the phrase or word you want to search for in the typing area

Summary

We’ve discussed six methods to search a document on iPhone depending on the various apps in which you might have stored your document in the article above. These include the Files App, Pages App, Google Docs, and Adobe Acrobat Reader. 

We hope that we’ve answered the question of how to search a document on an iPhone for you.

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