I have many pdf documents in my computer and I need an easy to use GUI for retrieving those that contain certain terms / phrases. So, my question is if there is any such application for ubuntu 12.04 LTS?


There is a command-line tool pdfgrep which can perform your task.You can install it by
sudo apt-get install pdfgrep To search for a regular expression:

find /path -iname '*.pdf' -exec pdfgrep -H 'pattern' {} \;  

where path is location for your pdf files.

There is also a GUI tool called recoll which can search documents by indexing them.


  • Thanks for you answer, but the main problem here is that it is very slow since it doesn't index the pdfs (in the background) as I would expect, so that the next time be quicker. In addition, I would prefer something more user friendly. Any idea? – user88349 Sep 9 '12 at 11:11
  • I have added another GUI tool in my answer which might serve your purpose. – ignite Sep 9 '12 at 11:36

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.