Unable to search for text in an exported PDF from ArcGIS Pro

Last Published: May 24, 2022


In ArcGIS Pro, maps can be exported as a PDF file that are designed to be consistently viewable and printable across different platforms. To search for a specific keyword in a PDF file, the Search or Find box is used in a PDF reader.

After exporting a map to PDF from ArcGIS Pro, texts from labels on the map cannot be searched from the Search or Find box in a PDF reader, as shown in the next image, where Adobe Acrobat returns the error message:

Adobe Acrobat has finished searching the document. No matches were found.

Labels cannot be searched for in a PDF file exported from ArcGIS Pro


The ‘Output as image’ check-box was checked in the Export Map Properties pane before exporting the map as a PDF.

Solution or Workaround

Ensure that the Output as image check-box is unchecked in the Export Map dialog box before exporting the map as a PDF.

  1. Open the ArcGIS project.
  2. Navigate to Share > Export Map.
  3. In the Export Map pane, for File Type, select PDF.
  4. For Name, specify a name and location to save the output PDF file.
  5. For Compression, uncheck the Output as image check-box.
The Export Map pane to be configured
  1. Ensure that the Export georeference information check-box is checked, as shown in the next image.
  2. Click Export.
The Export georeference information check box to be checked

Labels can now be searched using the Find box in the PDF reader as shown in the image below.

Labels can now be searched using the Find box in the PDF reader.

Article ID:000027716

  • ArcGIS Pro 2 8 x
  • ArcGIS Pro 2 7 x
  • ArcGIS Pro 2 x

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