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How to search for a specific word or phrase in nearly any program on a Mac, using a keyboard shortcut

Business Insider | Jul 18, 2019, 08.34PM IST

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One keyboard command can let you search for words in almost any Mac program.

  • There's a quick and easy keyboard shortcut you can use to search for words on your Mac.
  • This command - Command + F - lets you search for words in everything from documents to web pages.
  • Alternatively, you can use the search bar in Preview to search through text-based documents on your Mac.
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If you need to quickly find something on your computer screen, you're in luck: Your Mac has tools built into it that you can easily take advantage of to search for specific words.

Here's how.

Check out the products mentioned in this article:

MacBook Pro (From $1,299 at Apple)

How to search for a word on Mac using the keyboard shortcut

Your Mac comes with a simple shortcut for finding words on a page, whether that's in a document, in your email, or on a random webpage. It's a good everyday search tool. Here's how to use it:

1. Press and hold Command (located on either side of the space bar) and the "F" key.

2. Enter a word or phrase into the search box (which will appear in the top-right corner of the screen) - the word will appear highlighted on the screen, and if there are multiple entries, you can cycle through those by hitting "Enter."

1 HOW TO SEARCH WORD MAC

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Hitting Command + F will open a search box in most programs.

When using this method, keep in mind that you'll have to enter the exact word, phrase or sequence in order to find what you're looking for. Because of that, you may wish to try slightly different versions of the search term if the first one isn't successful.

If you press Command + F while in Finder, or while no program is open, you'll be brought to a search box where you can search for files, folders, or programs on your Mac.

How to search for a word on Mac using Preview

If you're using Preview to see a text-based document, you can use the search bar instead of the keyboard shortcut. Here's how:

1. Open the document in Preview (if it isn't your default option, you'll have to right-click on the document, then choose "Open with" followed by "Preview").

2 HOW TO SEARCH WORD MAC

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Open your text-based documents up in Preview to search them.

2. Use the search bar in the top toolbar of the document to find the desired section of text.

3 HOW TO SEARCH WORD MAC

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If your document has text that can be highlighted, you can search within it.

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