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: A Fast Find-Next.

A Fast Find-Next

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated December 15, 2016)

Word provides a fast, efficient, and flexible searching feature. Using the Find option from the Edit menu, you can search for just about anything in your document. I find myself using Find quite often in the course of creating a document, but there is one thing about Find that bothers me. I hate having the Find dialog box block part of my document as I am stepping through occurrences of a search string in my document. Clicking on Find Next works great, but that bothersome dialog box is still blocking my view.

To overcome this, I generally do the following when I am searching for something:

  1. Use the Find feature as normal (Ctrl+F), specifying what I want to search for and then looking for the first occurrence of the string.
  2. When the first occurrence is displayed, I press the Esc key (or click on Cancel).
  3. To find the next occurrence, I press Shift+F4.

This procedure works the same as clicking Find Next repeatedly, and it is just as fast, but it gets rid of the annoying Find dialog box.

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (974) 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: A Fast Find-Next.

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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