How to search text in PDF files with Pdfgrep commands in a Linux terminal?

The advanced console known as Linux Terminal contains more than 30 basic commands that every user should know, as they allow multiple functions that could be useful at any time.

But they cannot be used only in this console, since these commands are included in the Linux operating system and will therefore be available on any device that allows the installation of this system. And, of course, the well-known grep command is no exception.

This Linux operating system command is quite useful when it comes to locating a certain text fragment within a PDF file. In case you want to know more about this, today Learn How To teach you how to search for text in these files using Pdfgrep commands. Learn a little more about the installation of these commands in this article. 

What is the procedure for installing Pdfgrep commands on a Linux PC?

When you install the open Linux operating system on a PC, all of its commands are available for you to use at the required time. However, since Linux does not work remotely the same as other operating systems, you will have to learn how to handle them correctly, such as Pdfgrep, and adapt to this type of system.

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How do I use Pdfgrep to perform a text search on my Linux?

In English, the acronym grep translates as Global Search for Regular Expressions, but besides that, it is useful to search for files and perform other options related to the same. Next, we will see the main way to search with Pdfgrep, which is nothing more than the syntax of this command, expressed as grep [OPTIONS] PATTERN [FILE…].


As we have mentioned recently, it refers to one of the options that grep has to search for a line of text in a certain file.


Patterns, as its English translation indicates, expresses the pattern or patterns used to perform the search together with the options.


File means file, which is also used to name the different types of computer files. So, the File element, in the grep syntax, is used to point to the file of the search.

What actions can we perform with the search I made in Pdfgrep?

The Pdfgrep command allows several actions that allow you to define certain characteristics of the texts that are searched by means of it. Among them are:

-i, – ignore-case

This action is one of the most popular actions of the grep command and is especially used to ignore case distinctions in a text fragment.

-F, – fixed-strings

This variable is used for interpreting patterns consisting only of fixed strings that are separated by line breaks, as well as for highlighting matches between them.


If you work with rendered text and large files, using the -cache variable allows you to speed up the search process.

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-P, – perl-regexp

This can be used when the expression we are looking for is compatible with the Perl command, also from Linux, and to obtain general descriptions more quickly.

What other uses can pdfgrep be put to on our Linux computer?

As with many of the other Linux commands, they can be used to perform multiple actions and facilitate the text search process in more than one way. Among those beneficial uses are:

Highlighted Colors.

Since when searching with Pdfgrep on Linux, the number of hits returned by the results can be so enormous that you would easily miss the text you are looking for. Luckily, grep contains the variable – color = ‘Auto’ to macerate the most successful matches to what is requested when doing a text search.

Ignoring distinctions

As mentioned earlier, the i-, – ignore-case variable is used to ignore case distinctions, thus facilitating the search and yielding better results.

At first glance, it seems that using a device with this system is quite complex, exhausting and very difficult to understand compared to when you activate a license on Windows and MacOS. However, upgrading to the Linux operating system is not at all complicated once you become familiar with it and all the commands it contains. 

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