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 with a Certain Format.

Searching for Text With a Certain Format

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated January 29, 2015)

1

Word has a power search capability that you can use to search not only for text, but also for any formatting you have applied. For instance, you can search for specific character formats applied to your text by following these steps:

  1. 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 want the matched text to have. Make sure the check box beside the attribute is selected. It should have a check mark in it without any gray.
  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 (1817) 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 with 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. ...

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Comments for this tip:

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 three minus 1?

2011-12-17 02:44:02

Rohn

I like the older version of this tip that had more information.

You can also find paragraph formatting, as well. To search for paragraph formatting, simply replace steps 5 and 6 with these steps:
1. Click on the Format button and select Paragraph. The Find Paragraph dialog box appears.
2. Select the paragraph attributes for which you want to search.
3. When selecting attributes that use check boxes, such as the check boxes on the Text Flow (Lines and Page Breaks tab for Word 97 and Word 2000 users), a check in a check box means the matching paragraph must have the attribute. If the check box is empty, then the paragraph won’t have that attribute. A shaded box means the attribute doesn’t matter.
If you use defined styles in your documents, Word has a very powerful search capability that allows you to find not just text, but defined styles, as well. To search for defined styles, replace steps 5 and 6 with these steps:
1. Click on the Format button and select Style. The Find Style dialog box appears.
2. Select the paragraph style for which you want to search.


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