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 Text that Does Not Have a Certain Format.

Searching for Text that Does Not Have a Certain Format

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated October 20, 2014)

Word has a very powerful search capability that allows you to find not just text, but the formats of text as well. Many Word users already know how to search for character formats, but you may not know that you can also search for characters that do not have a certain formatting property. To search for characters lacking a certain format, follow these steps:

  1. Choose Find from the Edit menu, or press Ctrl+F. Word displays the Find tab of the Find and Replace dialog box.
  2. Click on the More button if it is available. Word displays an expanded version of the Find and Replace dialog box. (See Figure 1.)
  3. Figure 1. The Find tab of the Find and Replace dialog box.

  4. Delete anything in the Find What box. Click on the No Formatting button if it is available.
  5. Click on the Format button and then choose Font. Word displays the Find Font dialog box. (See Figure 2.) Notice that all the character attributes (Superscript, Subscript, and so on) in the Effects area are shaded. This means these attributes do not matter; they are ignored by Word when searching.
  6. Figure 2. The Find Font dialog box.

  7. Select the character attributes you don't want the matched text to have. Make sure the check box beside the attribute is cleared.
  8. Click on OK.
  9. Click on Find Next.

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (1793) 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 Text that Does Not Have a Certain Format.

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

Changing WordArt Text

WordArt can be used with just about any text you want. Here's how to change the text.

Discover More

Removing All Macros

Macros are stored as part of a workbook so that they are always available when you have the workbook open. If you want to get ...

Discover More

Speeding Up Cursor Movement

If you use the arrow keys to move the insertion point through the document, you may have noticed that it can be slow going at ...

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)

Searching for Non-Black Text

Searching for text having (or not having) specific formatting is generally pretty easy. It is more difficult to search for ...

Discover More

Special Differences when Searching

Word includes two different search engines. Which search engine you choose to use will dictate what Word shows as available ...

Discover More

Searching for Special Hyphens

Word allows you to use a couple of different types of hyphens in your document, each with a different purpose. If you want to ...

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. 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 4 + 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.