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: Searching for Formatting.

Searching for Formatting

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated February 8, 2017)

Word has a very powerful search capability that allows you to find not just text but the formats of text as well. To search for character formatting, follow these steps:

  1. Press Ctrl+F. Word displays the Find tab of the Find and Replace dialog box.
  2. Make sure the Find What box is empty.
  3. If the More button is available, click on it.
  4. Click on the No Formatting button, if it is enabled.
  5. Click on the Format button, then select Font. Word displays the Find Font dialog box. (See Figure 1.)
  6. Figure 1. The Find Font dialog box.

  7. Select the character attributes for which you want to search. If there is a check in a check box, the text matched must have the corresponding attribute. If the check box is empty, then the text won't have that attribute. A shaded check box means the attribute doesn't matter.
  8. Click on OK.
  9. Click on Find Next.

You can also find paragraph formatting, as well. To search for paragraph formatting, the steps are pretty much the same:

  1. Press Ctrl+F. Word displays the Find tab of the Find and Replace dialog box.
  2. Make sure the Find What box is empty.
  3. If the More button is available, click on it.
  4. Click on the No Formatting button, if it is enabled.
  5. Click on the Format button and select Paragraph. Word displays the Find Paragraph dialog box. (See Figure 2.)
  6. Figure 2. The Find Paragraph dialog box.

  7. Select the paragraph attributes for which you want to search.
  8. Click on OK.
  9. Click on Find Next.

Finally, if you use defined styles in your documents, Word has a very powerful search capability that allows you to find not just text, but defined styles, as well. To search for defined styles, use these steps:

  1. Press Ctrl+F. Word displays the Find tab of the Find and Replace dialog box.
  2. Make sure the Find What box is empty.
  3. If the More button is available, click on it.
  4. Click on the No Formatting button, if it is enabled.
  5. Click on the Format button and select Style. Word displays the Find Style dialog box. (See Figure 3.)
  6. Figure 3. The Find Style dialog box.

  7. Select the paragraph style for which you want to search.
  8. Click on OK.
  9. Click on Find Next.

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (255) 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: Searching for Formatting.

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. ...

MORE FROM ALLEN

Getting Word to Remember the Default Date and Time Format

One way to insert the current date into your document is to use the Date and Time dialog box. The Default button in the ...

Discover More

Making Sure Changes and Comments are Anonymous

When using Track Changes, Word normally notes the originator of a particular comment or change. This information can then be ...

Discover More

Forcing Dates Forward

Want to push a date to some pre-defined day of the month? Here are some ways to force the issue.

Discover More

Comprehensive VBA Guide Visual Basic for Applications (VBA) is the language used for writing macros in all Office programs. This complete guide shows both professionals and novices how to master VBA in order to customize the entire Office suite for their needs. Check out Mastering VBA for Office 2010 today!

More WordTips (menu)

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 ...

Discover More

Selective Formatting using Find and Replace

The Find and Replace tool in Word allows you to check for formatting in what you search for and use formatting in your ...

Discover More

Replacing Hidden Text

Word allows you to format text so it can be easily hidden from view and from printing. If you want to convert the hidden text ...

Discover More
Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in WordTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

View most recent newsletter.

Comments

If you would like to add an image to your comment (not an avatar, but an image to help in making the point of your comment), include the characters [{fig}] in your comment text. You’ll be prompted to upload your image when you submit the comment. Images larger than 600px wide or 1000px tall will be reduced. Up to three images may be included in a comment. All images are subject to review. Commenting privileges may be curtailed if inappropriate images are posted.

What is four less than 6?

There are currently no comments for this tip. (Be the first to leave your comment—just use the simple form above!)


This Site

Got a version of Word that uses the menu interface (Word 97, Word 2000, Word 2002, or Word 2003)? This site is for you! If you use a later version of Word, visit our WordTips site focusing on the ribbon interface.

Newest Tips
Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in WordTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

(Your e-mail address is not shared with anyone, ever.)

View the most recent newsletter.