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

Understanding Column Widths

Ever wonder why column widths are expressed in characters? The answer is rooted in history, as discussed in this tip.

Discover More

Understanding Custom Chart Templates

Excel allows you to create custom chart formats that go beyond the standard formats provided in the program. These custom ...

Discover More

Creating a Lorem Ipsum Tool

When editing, you may need random placeholder text inserted in your document. Word provides a couple of ways you can do ...

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)

Quickly Changing Tab Alignment

Need to change the alignment of some tabs in a multitude of paragraphs? How you approach the problem depends on whether ...

Discover More

Searching for Optional Hyphens

If you have a document that contains optional hyphens (special characters that mark where a word can be split between ...

Discover More

Searching for White Space

White space permeates our documents, and sometimes you'll need to search for that white space. Word makes it easy to ...

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 6Mpixels. 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 eight minus 1?

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.