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Using the Object Browser

Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Word versions: 97, 2000, 2002, and 2003. If you are using a later version (Word 2007 or later), this tip may not work for you. For a version of this tip written specifically for later versions of Word, click here: Using the Object Browser.

Word includes a feature that allows you to look at your document in totally new ways. For lack of a better term, this feature is called the object browser, and it is manifested by three small tools just below the vertical scroll bar, in the lower-right corner of the screen. One of the tools looks like a double up arrow, and another like a double down arrow. The third tool looks like a small ball, and it is located between the other two tools.

The double arrow tools may look familiar to those who have used other programs. In fact, there are similar tools in almost the same position if you use the Print Preview mode of Word. There, the tools are used to jump through your document a single page at a time.

The object browser isn't limited to simply pages, however. If you click on the tool that looks like a ball, you will see a graphical menu with twelve options. These options allow you to change what the double arrow tools look for when you click on them. The twelve options are as follows:

  • Go To
  • Find
  • Browse by Edits
  • Browse by Heading
  • Browse by Graphic
  • Browse by Table
  • Browse by Field
  • Browse by Endnote
  • Browse by Footnote
  • Browse by Comment
  • Browse by Section
  • Browse by Page

The default use is Browse by Page. With this option chosen, the double arrows function just as they do in Print Preview mode: They jump from one page to another through your document. However, the other options allow you to browse through your document looking for other items, as indicated. This can be a great time-saver.

Note that not all options begin with the term "Browse by." If you choose Go To, then the Find and Replace dialog box appears with the Go To tab selected. If you chose Find, then the Find and Replace dialog box appears with the Find tab selected. After performing a Find, then the double-arrows function as a "Find Next" or "Find Previous" tool.

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (1125) applies to Microsoft Word 97, 2000, 2002, and 2003. You can find a version of this tip for the ribbon interface of Word (Word 2007 and later) here: Using the Object Browser.

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