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

Controlling How Excel Interprets Percentages

When entering data in a worksheet, Excel tries to figure out how your entry can best be shown on the screen. When it comes to ...

Discover More

Nudging a Graphic

If you need to move a graphic just a little bit in one direction or another, you can do so by using the techniques in this ...

Discover More

Can't Empty the Clipboard

The Clipboard is essential to move or copy information from one place in Excel to another. If you get an error when you try ...

Discover More

The First and Last Word on Word! Bestselling For Dummies author Dan Gookin puts his usual fun and friendly candor back to work to show you how to navigate Word 2013. Spend more time working and less time trying to figure it all out! Check out Word 2013 For Dummies 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

Searching for Text Not Using a Certain Style

Word is very flexible in what it allows you to search for. One thing it can't do, however, is allow you to search for text ...

Discover More

Adding Tags to Text

The Find and Replace capabilities of Word can be used to add HTML tags to your document text. This is easier to do than it ...

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. Maximum image size is 8Mpixels. 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 4 + 7?

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.