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: Formatting All Headings At Once.

Formatting All Headings At Once

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated October 13, 2018)

Suppose you want to apply a particular formatting attribute to all the headings in your document in one fell swoop. If you use four heading levels in your document, and you want to make them all red, you could use Find and Replace to search for all the heading levels, in turn, and change them to red. This gets tedious, of course. You could speed up the process by using a macro, but the macro would still be quite long since you would still need to do four separate Find and Replace operations.

There is a quicker way, however: Do your work in Outline view. When you show only certain heading levels in Outline view, Find and Replace only operates on those particular heading levels. Follow these steps:

  1. Switch to Outline view by clicking on the Outline View button on the status bar.
  2. Click the number 4 on the Outline toolbar so that only your headings, levels 1 through 4, are displayed.
  3. Press Ctrl+H to display the Replace tab of the Find and Replace dialog box.
  4. If available, click the More button. (See Figure 1.)
  5. Figure 1. The Replace tab of the Find and Replace dialog box.

  6. In the Find What box, enter an asterisk.
  7. In the Replace With box, enter ^& to signify that you want to replace whatever is found with whatever was found.
  8. With the insertion point still in the Replace With box, click the Format button and choose Font. Word displays the Replace Font dialog box. (See Figure 2.)
  9. Figure 2. The Replace Font dialog box.

  10. Using the Font Color control, choose the color of red you want to use.
  11. Click OK to dismiss the Replace Font dialog box.
  12. Click on Replace All.

The result of this procedure is that all the headings in the document are changed to red text. This works because Find and Replace only works with whatever is visible when you are working in Outline view. If you didn't use Find and Replace, but instead selected the whole document (Ctrl+A) and changed the font to red, Word would make the changes in everything you see and everything that is hidden. Using Find and Replace, instead, results in only the visible text being modified.

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (48) 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: Formatting All Headings At Once.

Author Bio

Allen Wyatt

With more than 50 non-fiction books and numerous magazine articles to his credit, Allen Wyatt is an internationally recognized author. He is president of Sharon Parq Associates, a computer and publishing services company. ...

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