In addition to searching for exact text, the Find and Replace tool also includes a handy feature that allows you to search using wildcards. You can use this feature to find things like variations of a word or groups of words. Use the following articles to learn how to search with wildcards in Word.
Tips, Tricks, and Answers
The following articles are available for the 'Wild Card' topic. Click the article''s title (shown in bold) to see the associated article.
Adding an Ellipsis to the Beginning of Some Paragraphs
The Find and Replace feature of Word is very powerful. You can even use it to add a unique character to the beginning of selected paragraphs. The trick is defining what those "selected paragraphs" look like.
Automatically Formatting Text within Quotes
Some people use quote marks around text to make it stand out. At some point you may want to treat the quoted text differently, perhaps by making it bold. This tip presents two ways you can make the conversion.
Formatting Partial Results of a Search
The Find and Replace capabilities of Word are, simply, quite astounding. This is particularly true when using wildcard patterns in your searching. This tip presents a way to use a wildcard pattern to format only a portion of what is found by the pattern.
Matching At the Beginning or End of a Word
The pattern matching capabilities of Word's search engine are quite powerful. You can tailor your search pattern so that whatever you specify must occur at the beginning or end of a word.
Replacing a Colon in a Sequence
Sometimes you'll run across the need to replace a very specific sequence of characters in your document. It is for these instances that Word provides the wildcard capabilities of Find and Replace. This tip describes a common sequence that needs searching and how you can replace it using wildcards.
Replacing Multiple Spaces with Tabs
If you get a document or some text that has multiple consecutive spaces used to align information, you'll undoubtedly be looking for a quick way to replace those spaces with tabs. Here's the absolute fastest way to do the replacing.
Replacing Spaces in Part Numbers with Dashes
Word has a power capability to search for information and then replace that information in some way. Finding the right method to do the searching and replacing can be a challenge, however. Here is one instance where understanding how Word performs wildcard searches can greatly enhance finding and replacing information.
Searching for Characters
When using pattern matching in a search, you can specify individual characters or ranges of characters you want matched in the search. This tip explains how brackets are used to denote exactly which characters should be considered a match when searching.
Setting Table Values to Three Decimal Places
If you import information into a document from another program, the values you import may not be exactly to your liking. For instance, you might need to limit imported data to three decimal places. The best and fastest ways to perform this task are discussed in this tip.
Special Characters in Pattern Matching
The most powerful search engine in Word use pattern matching, but the way you specify special characters in a pattern-matching search is different than in a regular search. This tip examines some of the differences that can affect how you do your searching.
Special Differences when Searching
Word includes two different search engines. Which search engine you choose to use will dictate what Word shows as available special characters.
Specifying a Number of Matches
The wild card searching capabilities of Word are amazing. One thing you can do with wild cards is to specify not only a character (or character range) to match, but also how many times that character should be repeated in what is matched. Here's the low-down on how to add this power to your searching.
Standardizing Note Reference Placement
Want to modify where an endnote or footnote reference appears in relation to the punctuation in a sentence? Here's a way you can make changes using Word's Find and Replace tool.
Understanding Pattern Matching
Pattern matching is a type of searching you can do in Word that is very powerful. Despite its power, it remains rather esoteric to many Word users. This tip provides an overview of what pattern matching is and how you can turn it on when searching.