5 great ways to search for PDF documents online

Ruchi wrote a nice post a few days ago detailing 10 websites to download free E-books. It got me think and looking up other ways to search for PDF files online. E-books are fine but there are also many online forms, documents, pamphlets all in PDF format which someone might be interested in look up.

Here are some tips and websites to search for PDF files online.

#1. Search for PDF files with Google Search

  • You can search for PDF files using Google. It searches the web for files with extension being PDF rather than links.
  • For example when you want to search for PDF files regarding CSS just type in “CSS filetype:pdf” without the quotes into the search bar.
  • This will make Google pull up relevant PDF files on CSS. 😉

#2. Search for PDF files with Bing

  • What works with Google also works with Bing search engine.
  • To have Bing search for only PDF files need to write the keyword first and then file type has to be defined.
  • I searched for PDF files on CSS with this query “CSS Filetype:pdf” without the quotes.

#3. PDF Search Engine

  • PDF Search Engine is a website which has been covered before on DW.
  • It allowed me to search for only PDF files online. No fancy filetypes had to be defined as this website only searches for files which are in PDF format. 🙂

#4. Search PDF Geni

  • Search PDF also looks up a decent list of PDF files with any keyword. It is pretty similar to PDF search Engine.
  • The only downside is that it supports multiple languages and sometimes with keywords like “CSS” it can give you results which are not necessarily in your language.

#5. Search PDF files on Yahoo Search

  • Just like we can search for only PDF files with Google and Bing, I could also search for PDF files with Yahoo Search.
  • With Yahoo the example to use for the query is “CSS originurlextension:pdf” without the quotes.

Do try out these tips for searching PDF files, documents and manuals online. Drop in your comments with any more alternatives and tips you might be using or finding useful.


Gagan May 1, 2010

Hey Aditya, there is a javacript for searching ebooks on Google. Do you know anything about it ? Can you share that tip also ..

mahendra mehra July 21, 2010

“CSS filetype:pdf” this is the task of advanced google search. so why should we type we can rather use advance search and result will be just a click away.