I recently updated my OS to Sierra. The new Preview seems to have some serious bugs for searching words inside a document.

1st problem: certain words are not found despite Adobe acrobat reader is perfectly able to find them.

2nd problem: the bar to the right displays the pages where the word has been found. The pages are arranged in an apparently random order.

Is there a way to fix these issues?


Actually I solved the second problem. Results where sorted by search rank instead of page order. I still have the first problem though.

EDIT I am quite surprised this post has received so little attention. I use the find utility really often, and I have now had to switch to adobe as the standard program to open PDF.

I've also tried reindexing the spotlight but it did not fix it.

  • Adobe Reader is the standard for PDF. Many users find that Preview does not equal it for various purposes. Commented Jan 26, 2018 at 12:47

1 Answer 1


I found the solution for this in some apple related blog.

In the top left corner of Preview click on View and select "Table of Contents". That will produce the results of the search.

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