I would like a PDF viewer that I can search documents with using regular expressions. Is there such a thing? I've tried PowerGrep, but it doesn't have a graphical viewer and its interface is a little heavy for my users.

Thank you very much for your time and consideration Iain

  • sounds like there's still a vacuum to fill :-( – Jason S Nov 21 '12 at 23:55

Yes there is. Agent Ransack This software can search through directories of files of most formats and takes REGEX too.

  • 1
    This has been renamed as FileLocator Lite, there is also a paid Pro version. – alimack Aug 23 '17 at 9:21

The closest I have ever found for this is a package called the PDF Search Assistant. The website looks dodgy I admit but the software actually works very well and does allow regex across multiple files.

It's not free or cheap however and I haven't needed to do this in some time so I am not aware of anything newer.



With regex search:

Without regex search:


  • grepWin, it supports regex, but doesn't support PDF files yet.


Without regex search:

  • pdfgrep (no GUI, available via apt-get)

    Example regex usage: (e )?Universit[yä])@Claudius

Related question: Is there any pdf reader that supports word searching with regular expression?

  • regexp (for example, (e )?Universit[yä]) search works quite well for me in pdfgrep version 1.3.0. – Claudius Nov 22 '12 at 16:36
  • Anything for Android? – pevik Aug 22 '17 at 10:30

pdfgrep still exists and is packaged for Debian. However, it doesn’t have a graphical user interface.

  • 1
    sudo apt-get install pdfgrep – kenorb Nov 22 '12 at 15:53

dngrep - GREP for Windows is said to be able to search PDF documents via plug-in.

  • It doesn't need a plugin as far as I see. – Foad Dec 11 '18 at 11:58

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