How to Control-F Search on iPad Keyboard in Safari, Chrome, PDF, Notes, Files, etc

May 4, 2022 - Leave a Comment

Finding and searching on iPad

All iPad models have the ability to search within apps for matched text. This includes searching within PDF files, notes, Safari, Chrome, and more. Since many iPad users come from a Windows background, they associate Control-F or CTRL-F with find and search, and thus are looking for a similar keyboard shortcut on their iPad to perform searches like this.

If you use an iPad with a physical keyboard, like the iPad Magic Keyboard, iPad Smart Keyboard, or any other external keyboard or keyboard case for iPad, you’ll be thrilled to know there is a search and find function that is basically identical to Control-F for the iPad, iPad Pro, iPad Air, and iPad Mini.

Command+F on iPad is the equivalent to Control+F

This is super easy to remember; use Command+F instead of Control+F. That’s it!

Command-F is Ctrl-F Equivalent on iPad in Safari

Search in Safari on iPad with Command F as the control f search feature equivalent

For Safari on iPad, use Command+F to instantly pull up the find on page and search matched text feature, just like using ctrl-F on a Windows PC.

Command-F is Ctrl-F Equivalent in Chrome for iPad

Command F mimics Control F for searching Chrome on iPad

For Chrome on iPad, using Command-F brings up the search and find on page feature. Then just type what you want to find and it will match on the page.

This is just like using control-F in Chrome on a PC, except of course it’s command-F and it’s on iPad with Chrome.

Command-F is Ctrl-F Equivalent in Notes on iPad

The Notes app also supports Command-F to search within notes for matching words and text.

Most iPad Apps Support Command-F for Finding / Searching

In fact, the majority of iPad apps support the Command+F keyboard shortcut for finding and searching within the app, whether it’s a document, web page, PDF file, or otherwise. This includes common iPad apps beyond what we’ve already covered like Safari, Chrome, and Notes, but also Numbers, Pages, Keynote, Files, and much more.

What if you don’t use the iPad with a keyboard?

You can still search and use finding tools even without a keyboard, but you won’t have access to the keyboard shortcuts for obvious reasons. Instead, the iPad without a keyboard behaves much more like a big iPhone, thus you can use the same action/sharing menu based approach to use Find On Page, the control+F equivalent on iPhone for Safari, Chrome, Notes, and most apps on iPhone as well.


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Posted by: Paul Horowitz in iPad, Tips & Tricks

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