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 Non-Black Text.

Searching for Non-Black Text

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated January 6, 2014)

When searching for text in a document, it is easy to search for formats such as "bold" or "italic." You can also search for "not bold" and "not italic." You can search for text of a specific color, but Word does not allow you to search for text other than a specific color. For instance, you cannot search for text that is "not black."

If you need to search for text that is not black, then the best way to do so is with a macro. Consider the following macro, which prompts you for your search text, and then looks for the first non-black instance of that text.

Sub FindNotBlack()
    With Selection.Find
        .ClearFormatting
        .Text = InputBox(prompt:="Enter the search text.", _
          Title:="Find Nonblack Text")
        Do While .Execute
            With Selection.Font
                If (.Color <> wdColorAutomatic) And _
                  (.Color <> wdColorBlack) Then
                    MsgBox "Found"
                    Exit Sub
                End If
            End With
        Loop
    End With
End Sub

Note that the macro checks to see if the color of the matched text is different from black (wdColorBlack) and from the automatic color (wdColorAutomatic). This is because the automatic color is black on most systems.

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (1387) 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 Non-Black Text.

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

Viewing Your Entire Document Width

The Zoom tool is very useful to help you see all of your document information. Here's how to make sure you can see all ...

Discover More

Setting a Length Limit on Cells

Limiting what can be entered in a cell can be an important part of developing a worksheet that other people use. Here are ...

Discover More

Quickly Customizing the Keyboard

Want a quick way to change the shortcut key associated with a tool available on a ribbon, toolbar, or menu? Here's one ...

Discover More

Create Custom Apps with VBA! Discover how to extend the capabilities of Office 2013 (Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, and Access) with VBA programming, using it for writing macros, automating Office applications, and creating custom applications. Check out Mastering VBA for Office 2013 today!

More WordTips (menu)

Quick and Dirty Paragraph Count

Need to know how many paragraphs are in a document? You can use Word's Find and Replace feature to get a count quickly.

Discover More

Searching for Text that Does Not Have a Certain Format

You can easily use Find and Replace to find text that has a particular format to it. Most people don't know you can use ...

Discover More

Searching for Footnote and Endnote Marks

Do you want to quickly search for any footnote or endnote marks in your document? Word makes it easy using the standard ...

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 seven minus 2?

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.