Home Tech 9 Best PDF Search Engines You Can Use Instead of Google

9 Best PDF Search Engines You Can Use Instead of Google

Are you looking for the best PDF search engines? If yes, you have stumbled upon the right webpage. In this article, we are going to share a list of the best PDF search engines.

Printed books are long gone, and the world is shifting to digital technologies such as ebooks and PDFs. Now, you can find literally every single book, document, research paper, and more in the form of PDF or ebook.

There are many great reasons why PDFs and ebooks are better than printed books, such as easy accessibility, cheaper cost, and more.

Since this article is not about why PDFs and ebooks are better than printed books, I will not dig into the rabbit hole, but to wrap it up, I will say that ebooks and PDFs have revolutionized the way people consume books.

But finding the right PDF of any book, research paper, or document can be daunting, especially if you don’t know where to search for it. I see many people go to Google and search for the PDF by entering their name, such as XYZ PDF.

While this method sometimes works, especially when you are looking for a PDF that is quite popular and has been shared by multiple websites, it might not be able to help you find the right PDF all of the time.

Well, if you are also having a hard time finding the PDF that you want, this article is going to be a lifesaver for you.

Here, we are covering some of the best PDF search engines that can easily help you find the PDFs you are looking for. These PDF search engines are specifically designed to search PDFs.

So, here we go –

Best PDF Search Engines – Our Top Pick👌

1. Internet Archive

Link – https://archive.org/details/texts/

Internet Archive is an American-based non-profit organization with a sole motto to provide users access to all sorts of knowledge for free.

It is a free, publicly accessed digital library with a massive collection of digitized content, including website pages, software applications, games, videos, movies, music, and books.

Best PDF Search Engines

The library of the Internet Archive is quite extensive as it boasts over 8.1 million movies, videos, and TV shows, 702 billion web pages, 14.4 million audio files containing music, podcasts, and more, over 863K software and games, and over 64 million texts, ebooks and PDFs. This makes the Internet Archive an excellent choice for finding literally anything that you want.

Let’s mainly talk about the text material of the Internet Archive. It offers over 20 million downloadable text files and over 2.3 million modern ebooks, which can be borrowed under certain conditions with a free archive.org account.

The search function of the Internet Archive lets you search books, research papers, and more by their name, publisher, published year, language, and more. Once you find the exact file you want to download, you can simply click on it, and there, you will see plenty of download options.

You can download these text files available in Internet Archive’s library in multiple file formats, including PDF, XML, JSON, Kindle, and more.

Thanks to its built-in document viewer, you can see the PDF quality and content without downloading it. Overall, the Internet Archive can be an excellent PDF search engine for you.

2. Find-pdf-doc

Link – http://www.findpdfdoc.com/

Find-pdf-doc is one of the best free PDF search engines that you can use. It is great to find a wide range of PDF ebooks, papers, contracts, novels, and more from a range of areas such as guides, research papers, schooling, banking, officially released documents, and more.

It is an amazing search engine with a very simple and clean UI. The user interface looks quite similar to traditional search engines, but in addition to that, it lets you add filters to search specific types of content such as PDFs, Docs, PPTs, XLSs, AI, TXT, and more.

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Basically, even though its name says Find PDF DOC, it is a great search engine to find any type of file such as MP3, videos, games, software, and more. So, no matter what you want, you can give this PDF search engine a try.

Searching for files on Find-pdf-doc is extremely simple and easy. All you have to do is enter the keyword and hit the search button. Within a few seconds, this search engine will present you with a list of the files you asked for.

Find-pdf-doc uses Google Search Engine to extract search results, but the search results you find using this PDF search engine will be tailored. It further eliminates malicious content such as malware, scam, phishing pages, and more.

The only thing I didn’t like about Find-pdf-doc is that it is an ad-supported platform, meaning you have to deal with advertisements that can be annoying sometimes.

3. PDF Search Engine

Link – http://www.pdfsearchengine.net/

Next, we have the PDF Search Engine on our list. It is another great PDF search engine tool that lets you find different types of PDF files very easily. You can use this search engine to find novels, ebooks, magazines, newspapers, and more.

This PDF search engine uses a tailored version of Google’s custom search engine to provide you only the results that contain PDF files.

9 Best PDF Search Engines You Can Use Instead of Google

You can get similar functionality on your own with Google Search Engine, but you have to learn how to modify Google for that. This search engine just removes the need to do so.

This search engine has so far collected a database of over 512,727,964 PDF files and documents. The best thing about this search engine is that it only creates a database of freely available PDFs without any restrictions. This is a great functionality.

It also allows users to upload their PDFs to help other users. Besides PDF, this search engine can also help you find related text files such as MS Word, PPT, ebooks, or regular TXT documents. Overall, I would highly recommend you to give it a try.

4. FreeFullPDF

Link – http://www.freefullpdf.com/#gsc.tab=0

FreeFullPDF is a great search engine for people who are involved in research or other scientific areas. That is because it helps you find a massive collection of scientific publications for free.

You can use this PDF search engine to find publications in life sciences, mathematics, health sciences, physics, social sciences, and humanities.

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This free PDF search engine aims to provide free and easy access to scientific journals, posters, patents, theses, and other scientific literature.

This search engine has been designed by KnowMade SARL, a leading technology intelligence company specializing in scientific and technical information research.

It has a database of over 80 million PDFs of scientific files, research papers, theses, and more. It further allows you to perform full-text searches such as titles, authors, abstracts, results, conclusions, etc.

One drawback of FreeFullPDF is that it uses all the words you type to show search results. For example, if you use the word such as DNA sequencing for the sequencer, it will first show you the results of DNA sequencing only. It does comprehend misspellings which is a good thing.

However, you can use the OR operator to allow you to search for more than one word. For example, you can use DNA sequencing OR a sequencer, and it will show you the results of both types of combinations. This is definitely a drawback, but these terms play some crucial roles in scientific documents.

You may like to read our guide on 13 Best Apps For Book Lovers That Every Reader Must Have.

5. Google Scholar

Link – https://scholar.google.com/

Google Scholar is a free search engine for finding and downloading academic data and literature. It has a pretty much similar user interface and functionality to Google that we are quite familiar with, so we can consider it as the academic version of Google.

9 Best PDF Search Engines You Can Use Instead of Google

However, one major difference between Google Search Engine and Google Scholar is that instead of searching for web pages, Google Scholar searches repositories of different publishers, scholarly websites, and universities to offer search results.

The benefit of Google Scholar’s simple UI is that it makes it easy and comforting for people already familiar with Google Search Engine. It lowers the learning curve that most other PDF search engines have and makes it extremely easy to find PDFs and other documents online.

However, Google Scholar is mainly for scholarly PDFs. You cannot find other items such as newspapers, magazines, and more. Therefore, it will only be a good PDF search engine for you if you are looking for similar kinds of stuff.

Although Google Scholar is free to use, it has some drawbacks. For example, it doesn’t always provide freely available PDFs and other documents. When you use Google Scholar, you may come across content hidden behind the paywall or copies of restricted articles.

You may like to read our guide on 15 Best Google Scholar Alternatives To Search For Scholarly Literature.

6. PDF-Downloads

Link – https://pdf-downloads.net/

Next, we have PDF-Downloads on our list. It is an amazing free PDF search engine that lets you search through a massive collection of millions of PDF files and allows you to download them on your device.

The collection of PDF files ranges in various categories, including tutorials, user manuals, scientific documents, free PDF books, ebooks, magazines, and more. This PDF search engine makes it extremely easy to find any sort of PDF file that you may want.

The user interface of the PDF-Downloads search engine is quite simple, easy to use, and intuitive. Using it is like using any other search engine, as all you need to do is enter the name of the PDF in the search box and hit enter or click on the search button.

Once you do that, the search engine will start mining data and present it to you in a list form. Here, you can see all the different search results for your query. You can simply click each option one by one to see if they have the PDF file you are looking for.

This search provides you with quite a lot of information about the PDF file, such as creation date, author name, owner of the PDF, and more. In my opinion, these data are sufficient to ensure whether you are downloading the correct PDF or not.

Apart from that, PDF-Downloads offers some free additional tools that you can use. These tools include free PDF to Word, PDF to TXT, PDF to PNG, and PDF to JPEG converters. Using these tools is also easy and quite effortless as you only have to upload the PDF file, and it will convert them into the file format that you want.

7. Science.gov

Link – https://www.science.gov/

If you are a science student who wants to find research papers, scientific data, and other information, Science.gov can be a great choice.

It is a platform managed by US government science authorities with the sole aim of providing people free access to research and development data and scientific and technical information.

9 Best PDF Search Engines You Can Use Instead of Google

Science.gov is in alliance with 13 agencies, including the United States Department of Agriculture, United States Department of Forest Service, NASA, National Science Foundation, US National Library of Medicine, Government Publishing Office, USGS, Environmental Protection Agency, and more.

Whenever you search for a query, it goes through 60 databases, over 2200 websites, and more than 200 million web pages to offer search results. This PDF search engine not only provides you with PDF files but other types of documents as well, such as citations, multimedia, and more.

It is a perfect search engine for people who are highly involved in research areas. It provides you with a multitude of free journal articles, thorough reports of research funded by US federal science agencies, peer-reviewed accepted manuscripts, and more, and that too for free.

On top of that, Science.gov also provides students the opportunity to get into programs for STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) areas. These are fully federally sponsored opportunities where you can get different types of aid such as scholarships, graduate fellowships, research internships, and more.

8. PDFDrive


PDFDrive is an excellent PDF search engine owned and managed by a US-based firm, Asha Inc. It is a free-to-use PDF search engine that boasts a massive database of over 78 million PDF files.

Plus, its crawlers continuously crawl millions of web pages on a daily basis to add more and more PDF files to its database.

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It caters to PDF files from a vast range of categories, including academic & education, art, biography, business & careers, environment, lifestyle, personal growth, politics & law, technology, science & research, politics, religion, health & fitness, and more.

You can find PDF files of books, research papers, documents, and more. This PDF search engine regularly checks for the updated version of PDF files so that you will always have access to up-to-date PDF files. This way, it allows you to have different updated versions of the PDF files you are looking for.

This search engine boasts some fantastic features, such as advanced filtering, which allows you to filter your search results based on publication date, popularity, file size, and more. It also offers you to preview files before downloading so that you wouldn’t download a file that is inappropriate for you.

It further offers an Android application that can be easily downloaded from Google Play Store. This Android application allows you to keep all your readings synchronized with the help of an active internet connection.

On top of that, its smart recommendation feature helps you find relevant books and PDFs that you might like to read. This recommendation feature uses your recent searches, interests, and read history to offer highly personalized books and PDFs.

9. Free-ebooks

Link – https://www.free-ebooks.net/

Lastly, we have Free-ebooks on our list. As the name suggests, Free-ebooks is a free platform where you can find and download millions of ebooks. It is mainly a book-sharing website, meaning you won’t find research papers, technical documents, and other similar stuff here.

Free-ebooks’ library contains books from a wide range of fiction and non-fiction categories such as drama, erotica, sci-fi, short stories, romance, and more, along with self-improvement, human rights, health, education, and other categories.

The main categories of Free-ebooks include Fiction, Non-Fiction, Academic, Textbooks, Classics, Fiction Audiobooks, Non-Fiction Audiobooks, and Children Audiobooks.

You can also find books written for engineering, law, mathematics, science, businesses, and more. Overall, it is an amazing platform for finding different types of books.

Free-ebooks require a free account to download and read books. Whenever you click on any PDF that you like to read or download, it provides you with a lot of essential information about the file, such as the Author’s name, number of downloads, overall ratings, published date, and more.

You can also read a summarized book description and preview the book with the help of its built-in PDF reader. It also allows users to drop their reviews in the comment section, which can help you understand what other readers of that ebook think about it. Since it is a free platform, I highly encourage you to try it.

Closing Comments

There you have it – a list of the 9 best free PDF search engines.

I understand that book fanatics usually don’t like PDFs that much, but we cannot deny that PDFs are the future. PDFs are easy to carry, cheap, and sometimes free, and can be easily shared.

Even though you can use Google and other search engines to find PDFs, they are not specifically designed for this purpose. They can be used at times, but you cannot wholly rely on them.

In that case, if you feel that you need something specifically designed to search PDFs, the PDF search engines mentioned in this list can be a helpful solution.