Selective Formatting in Searches

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated November 29, 2014)

Word includes a powerful find and replace feature that can be used to find all sorts of information and then replace it with equal aplomb. One thing you cannot do, however, is to search for information that has "mixed formatting" within it. For instance, you cannot search for the character X in regular typeface followed by the character Y in a monospace typeface.

There are, of course, ways around this, provided you are willing to use macros to do your work. For instance, your macro could do the following:

  1. Search for the next instance of XY.
  2. When found, examine the instance to determine if the desired formatting is present.
  3. If not, start over at step 1.

This approach, while easy to create, has only a limited utility. Since step 2 would need to be "hard coded" into the macro, going through the trouble of changing the macro to accommodate the formatting needs would only be of value if you have quite a few instances of XY that you are looking for.

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (1552) applies to Microsoft Word 97, 2000, 2002, and 2003.

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 Outlining in Word

Remember when you needed to create outlines for your writing when you were in school? Word includes outlining ...

Discover More

Getting Rid of Choppiness in Justified Text

Justified text doesn't always produce the best-looking results. Here's how to avoid some of the choppiness that can occur.

Discover More

Creating Default Formatting for Workbooks and Worksheets

Not satisfied with the way that default workbooks and worksheets look in Excel? You can easily create your own defaults ...

Discover More

Comprehensive VBA Guide Visual Basic for Applications (VBA) is the language used for writing macros in all Office programs. This complete guide shows both professionals and novices how to master VBA in order to customize the entire Office suite for their needs. Check out Mastering VBA for Office 2010 today!

More WordTips (menu)

Saving Find and Replace Operations

Want to repeat the same Find and Replace operation over and over again? Here are a couple of ways you can improve your ...

Discover More

Copying Found Items to a New Document

Word allows you to use its searching capabilities to easily find multiple items in a document. What if you want to copy ...

Discover More

Searching for Multi-Byte Hex Codes

Need to find a character for which you only know the hex code? There are a few ways you can search for the information, ...

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 6 + 8?

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.