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: Special Differences when Searching.

Special Differences when Searching

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated November 23, 2013)

Word includes a powerful search feature that allows you to find information based on just about every conceivable condition. As covered in other issues of WordTips, you can even use wildcards (Word's term for what programmers call regular expressions) in your searching. Here's a tip you may not have known, however.

When you use the normal search capabilities of Word (in other words, Use Wildcards is turned off), the Special button at the bottom of the Find dialog box displays different special characters for which you can search. If you do a wildcard search (the Use Wildcards check box is selected), the options available when you click on Special are changed to reflect the special needs of using wildcards in your searching.

Why is this a big deal? Because along with the power available by using wildcards in your searching comes additional complexity. Sometimes it is hard to remember the meaning of the different special wildcard characters. Remembering that the Special button displays the necessary characters helps make using wildcards easier.

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (853) 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: Special Differences when Searching.

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

Counting the Number of Blank Cells

If you need to count the number of blank cells in a range, the function to use is COUNTBLANK. This tip discusses the ...

Discover More

Changing Cell Colors

If you need to change the color with which a particular cell is filled, the easier method is to use the Fill Color tool, as ...

Discover More

Freezing a Table

Tired of Word changing the dimensions of table cells to accommodate what you place in those cells? You can instruct Word to ...

Discover More

Learning Made Easy! Quickly teach yourself how to format, publish, and share your content using Word 2013. With Step by Step, you set the pace, building and practicing the skills you need, just when you need them! Check out Microsoft Word 2013 Step by Step today!

More WordTips (menu)

Searching for Special Characters

When using the Find and Replace feature of Word, you can search for more than plain text. You can also search for characters ...

Discover More

Searching for Special Hyphens

Word allows you to use a couple of different types of hyphens in your document, each with a different purpose. If you want to ...

Discover More

Searching for ASCII and ANSI Characters

Need to get down to the "character level" when searching for information in a document. Word allows you to search for any ...

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 7 + 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.