I have to organize a lot of PDFs and it's possible to add Tags to PDFs through the preview app (not the filesystem tags like red/blue/green). But how to find them? When I open the Spotlight and try to search for a special keyword/tag given to a PDF there is nothing.

  • How exactly are you tagging the pdf files using preview? If you are doing it via the name, tags, where dialog those are system tags that you can custom make. If that is sagar you are referring to we may be able to provide an answer. Cheers
    – bjbk
    Commented Jul 20, 2018 at 21:21
  • PDF preview -> tools -> informations -> keywords Commented Jul 20, 2018 at 21:23
  • What version of macOS?
    – bjbk
    Commented Jul 20, 2018 at 21:26
  • it's 10.13.5 (high sierra) Commented Jul 20, 2018 at 21:28

1 Answer 1


According to this answer on Apple's forums, the syntax to use when searching for keywords in PDF's is like so:

kind:PDF keyword

If the keyword contains spaces use double quotes: kind:pdf "multiword keyword here"

Example of searching a PDF with the keyword 'proposal':

kind:pdf proposal

If Spotlight has indexed the file(s), they should show in the results.

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