I used to do this all the time. For example, I'd search for "blue house" (two words, with double quotes) and it would find the text "the blue house on the corner", but not "paint the house green and blue".

Lately it doesn't work. Did they remove the feature? Any way to get it back? I think it stopped working in macOS 12, but at the moment I'm on 13.0 Ventura. (Preview 11.0)

  • I don't have macOS 13.0 installed yet but I have Preview 11.0 running on macOS v12.6.1 and I can confirm that I can search for an exact multi-word phrase, i.e. get the blue house but not the blue and green house in a PDF document via Preview using double quotes, i.e. "blue house", in the search window.
    – Alper
    Nov 1, 2022 at 2:54

1 Answer 1


I can't be sure the following solution will work in your case because it might be different under macOS 13 and I'm running macOS 12.5:

Click the down-arrow head next to the search field in Preview and make sure Exact Phrase is checked. Here is a screenshot:

exact phrase checked image

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