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. ...

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