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: Noting Table Rows Containing a Character.

Noting Table Rows Containing a Character

Written by Allen Wyatt (last updated November 20, 2021)
This tip applies to Word 97, 2000, 2002, and 2003


Heidi has fifteen documents, each comprised chiefly of one long table. She needs to create a macro to search row-by-row and somehow highlight (either by shading, bolding, changing font, etc.) any row that doesn't have a parenthesis character anywhere in the row. Alternatively, she can also highlight rows that do contain a parenthesis character—she just needs to be able to distinguish between rows that do and rows that don't.

There are many ways that such a macro could be approached, but one that searches for an opening or closing parenthesis is relatively easy. The following example will do the search, row by row, and if either character is found, it will highlight the row by making the background yellow.

Sub HilightRows()
    Dim TargetText1 As String
    Dim TargetText As String
    Dim oRow As Row
    Dim iCol As Integer

    'initialize the target characters to find
    TargetText = "("
    TargetText1 = ")"

    'Make sure we're in a table
    If Selection.Information(wdWithInTable) Then
        'Clear all the old shading
        Selection.Tables(1).Shading.BackgroundPatternColor = wdColorWhite
        'do all the rows
        For Each oRow In Selection.Tables(1).Rows
            If InStr(oRow.Range.Text, TargetText) > 0 Then _
              oRow.Shading.BackgroundPatternColor = wdColorYellow
            If InStr(oRow.Range.Text, TargetText1) > 0 Then _
              oRow.Shading.BackgroundPatternColor = wdColorYellow
        Next oRow
    End If
End Sub

Note:

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WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (568) 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: Noting Table Rows Containing a Character.

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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