Search through all open documents


Hi All,

i am using Sumatra PDF since years on a daily base. So far a great tool, that i don’t want to miss. Unfortunately, there is one feature, that i am missing in sumatra. I would like to enhance my search to all open documents. Currently afaik, i can only search the current tab.

Is there such a search option included? If not, could this be an enhancement?

Thanks and Regards,



It’s not currently possible and not planned (it’s not easy to implement and I don’t understand the use case for it).


As an engineer i have to regularly read through multiple specifications. Sometimes it’s easier to “search” all open documents, instead of opening each single tab and then search a term.


you can use the ifilter and search using explorer all pdf’s in a folder containing said text


My documents are all in a different location on a network drive.

What is an iFilter?

  • While installing Sumatra, to install the IFilter click the Options button and select the Let Windows Desktop Search search PDF documents checkbox:

  • Remember to install the 64-bit version of Sumatra if you’re running a 64-bit version of Windows, because the 32-bit version’s PdfFilter.dll will not work in 64-bit apps.

  • Open the Indexing Options dialog via either the Start Menu/taskbar search box, Cortana, or the old Control Panel (in Win10) set to Large/Small Icons view.

  • Click the Advanced button and on the File Types tab ensure that the pdf file format has the Reader Search Handler properly listed against it, and that the Index Properties and File Contents option is selected below:

  • Back in the main Indexing Options dialog click the Modify button to add folders containing your PDFs to the search index.

  • Wait for the Indexing complete message to be displayed at the top of the Indexing Options dialog.

  • Now you can use the search box in Windows/File Explorer to search for words inside your indexed PDFs.

Search pdf files in folder (from within SumatraPDF)

Hi SumatraPeter,

thanks for this detailed instructions. I tried it, and it’s working!

But, this solution has still its drawbacks. I can find a pdf document containing a search term, but i don’t know on which page it is. So i need to open the document and search again. If the search term occurs multiple times, i have to click/search through all occurrences.

Having all search results of all open documents aggregated in one view increases my “search work” tremendously!

But i respect the fact that you don’t want to implement such a feature.

Thanks a lot for your help!




Hey, I’m just an end user like you! :slight_smile: @kjk is the developer and it is entirely up to him (and any other code contributors) if they want to add such a feature or not.

You can see whether any third party search utility (such as Agent Ransack for example) allows you to jump directly to the location of the search term in the PDF. I’m sure someone must have come up with a search utility that has this feature, or of course you can switch to a PDF reader that has this feature built in.