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

Referencing External Cell Colors

If you want to reference cell colors external to your current workbook, there is no way to do it using Excel functions. You ...

Discover More

Adding Ampersands in Headers and Footers

Add an ampersand to the text in a header or footer and you may be surprised that the ampersand disappears on your printout. ...

Discover More

Not Enough Resources to Delete Rows and Columns

Few things are as frustrating as trying to delete rows or columns and having Excel tell you that you can't perform the ...

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)

Ignoring Accented Characters in Searches

When writing in non-English languages, there can be many variations of accented characters that are used in a word. You might ...

Discover More

Selective Formatting in Replacements

Do you need to replace text with a term or phrase that uses multiple formats? You can perform this seemingly complex task ...

Discover More

Finding an Unknown Character

Sometimes the characters that appear in a document can be hard to figure out, especially if the document came from someone ...

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 for this tip:

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.

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.

Links and Sharing
Share