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Find and Replace

Word's Find and Replace function can quickly make changes throughout your document in just a couple steps. You can add, remove, or replace just about anything with this comprehensive feature. Learn how to utilize this powerful capability in Word with the following tips.

Tips, Tricks, and Answers

The following articles are available for the 'Find and Replace' topic. Click the article's title (shown in bold) to see the associated article.

Adding Many No-Width Optional Breaks
One of the special characters you can add in a document is the no-width optional break. Although originally designed for use with non-English languages, the break can be helpful in some situations. Here's how you can add a bunch of those breaks in one commonly used editing task.

Changing the Formatting of All Instances of a Word
Need to find all the instances of a particular word and change the formatting of those instances? It's easy to do using the regular Find and Replace capabilities of the program.

Copying Found Items to a New Document
Word allows you to use its searching capabilities to easily find multiple items in a document. What if you want to copy all those found items to a different document? Here are some techniques you can use.

Counting a Particular Word
Need to know how many times a particular word appears in a document? Here's a handy trick that will tell you the count, using a tool with which you are already familiar.

Find and Replace in a Column or Row
Need to search for information in a table? Word allows you to easily limit your search to an entire column or row, as described in this tip.

Find and Replace in Text Boxes
Find and Replace can work great, but not necessarily for text within text boxes. This tip discusses all the ins and outs of working with text boxes when it comes to finding text within them.

Finding an Unknown Character
Sometimes the characters that appear in a document can be hard to figure out, especially if the document came from someone else. Here's how to get to the root of what a character really is.

Finding and Deleting Rows
Got a table that contains rows you want to delete? Deleting one or two rows in a table is easy; deleting a bunch of rows that meet certain criteria can be more difficult. Here's a way you can make the deletions.

Finding Quoted Text in VBA
Macros are created for all sorts of purposes in creating, editing, and processing documents. You might want to use a macro to search for specific text that is surrounded by quote marks within a document. Here's how to do it correctly using the Find method.

Finding Text Not Using a Particular Font
Word makes it easy to find text that uses a particular font or font characteristics. What it doesn't do is make it easy to find text that doesn't use a particular font. Here's a few ways you can find the text you need.

Finding the Previous Occurrence
Using Word's Object Browser, it is very easy to move among different instances of what you want to search in your document. This tip explains how this tool can be used effectively to enhance your searching efforts.

Ignoring Accented Characters in Searches
When writing in non-English languages, there can be many variations of accented characters that are used in a word. You might want to search for the word in a way that the accented character is ignored. Word sort of allows you to do this, if you just modify how you do the search.

Keeping a Replace Operation Displayed
The Find and Replace tool is designed to help you find and replace information as quickly as possible. However, you may not want the tool to helpfully display the next match after each replacement is made. Here are some ideas you can use instead.

Keyboard Control of the Find and Replace Dialog Box
Hate to take your hands off the keyboard? This tip explains how you can use the keyboard to work with the Find and Replace dialog box, without the need to use the mouse at all.

Mass Search and Replace
If you need to change information in dozens or even hundreds of documents, the task can seem insurmountable. Here's a way you can let a macro do the work of making changes in any number of documents you may have.

Moving Footnote References Using Find and Replace
When you are editing a document, you may need to modify where the author placed footnotes relative to surrounding punctuation. You can use Word's Find and Replace capabilities to effect the changes.

Ordering Search and Replace
The wildcard searching available in Word is very powerful. Here's how you can use ordering in your search efforts to make your replacements easier than ever.

Preserving Bookmarks During Replace Operations
When you do a search and replace operation in Word, it is possible that you could inadvertently wipe out a bookmark or two. To avoid this potential problem, apply the concepts in this tip.

Removing All Comments
Need to get rid of all the comments in your document? You can do so by using the regular Find and Replace feature of Word.

Removing HTTP from URLs
Having problems when it comes to replacing information in URLs? You're not the only one; it can be confusing making mass changes to active hyperlinks. Here's the lowdown on how to make the changes you need to see.

Removing Specific Fields
Word allows you to place all sorts of fields in your documents. If you want to search for only specific types of fields, then you'll love the techniques presented in this tip.

Replacing an X with a Check Mark
In order to provide a finishing touch to your document, you may want to replace mundane X marks with fancier check marks. This can be done with the Find and Replace capabilities of Word, as described in this tip.

Replacing Long Blocks of Text
Word has a length limit on what you can find and replace. There is a way around the limit, however.

Replacing Plain Text with a Hyperlink
Active hyperlinks can be a desired feature in some types of documents. If you want to replace multiple instances of plain text with an active hyperlink, you'll welcome the techniques discussed in this tip.

Replacing Some Smart Quotes
Smart quotes look great in a document, but may not be right for all instances of quote marks or apostrophes. If you need to replace some smart quotes, but not all of them, then you'll want to understand the technique described in this tip.

Replacing Text with a Graphic
The Find and Replace feature in Word provides you with some powerful tools you can use to process a document. One such tool is the ability to replace text with graphics. This tip demonstrates how easy this type of editing is.

Replacing with a Subscript
The Find and Replace capabilities of Word are quite powerful. One type of replacing may not seem possible at first—replacing text with other text having formatting such as superscripts or subscripts. This type of editing is possible, however, by following the techniques presented in this tip.

Saving Find and Replace Operations
Want to repeat the same Find and Replace operation over and over again? Here are a couple of ways you can improve your productivity in this area.

Searching for a Specific Field
Fields can be a great boon to document development, as they allow you to insert different types of dynamic information in the body of the document. If you want to search for a specific type of field, you can do so using the techniques presented here.

Searching for Adjectives and Adverbs
Searching for different types of words in your documents is a nice thing to contemplate, but it is much harder to do in reality. The English language has enough vagaries that it can be challenging.

Searching for Borders
Want to find all the paragraphs in your document that have borders applied to them? The regular Find and Replace tool won't work for this purpose. Here are a couple of ways you can find what you need, however.

Searching for Multi-Byte Hex Codes
Need to find a character for which you only know the hex code? There are a few ways you can search for the information, as detailed in this tip.

Searching for Text that Does Not Have a Certain Format
You can easily use Find and Replace to find text that has a particular format to it. Most people don't know you can use the same tool to find text that does not have a particular format. Here's how to do this type of search.

Selective Formatting in Replacements
Do you need to replace text with a term or phrase that uses multiple formats? You can perform this seemingly complex task using the powerful find and replace tools in Word, or you can create a macro that will do the trick for you.

Selective Formatting in Searches
Need to search for text that has different formatting within the search term? Word can't handle something this complex, but you can create a macro to do the searching for you.

Using Find and Replace to Change Text Case
Can you really use Find and Replace to change the case of text in your document? Not really, but that shouldn't stop you from relying on the tool to make the changes with this workaround.

 

More Information

The following are additional topics related to the subject of Find and Replace. A bracketed number after the topic indicates how many articles are related to that subject.

 

 

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