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 Paragraph Formatting.

Searching for Paragraph Formatting

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated July 30, 2016)

Word has a very powerful search capability that allows you to find not just text but the formatting of text as well. To search for paragraph formatting, follow these steps:

  1. Press Ctrl+F to display the Find tab of the Find and Replace dialog box.
  2. Make sure the Find What box is empty.
  3. Click on the More button if it is available. (See Figure 1.)
  4. Figure 1. The expanded Find tab of the Find and Replace dialog box.

  5. Click on the No Formatting button, if it is enabled.
  6. Click on the Format button and select Paragraph. The Find Paragraph dialog box appears.
  7. Select the paragraph attributes for which you want to search. When selecting attributes that use check boxes, 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.
  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 (1821) 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 Paragraph Formatting.

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. ...


Controlling Chart Gridlines

Gridlines are often added to charts to help improve the readability of the data presented in the chart. Here's how you ...

Discover More

Determining if Num Lock is On

Need to know if the Num Lock key is on or off? You can use a short bit of macro code to figure out the state of the key.

Discover More

Setting the AutoRecover Directory

Excel, by default, periodically writes information to AutoRecover files that can help protect your data in case Excel is ...

Discover More

The First and Last Word on Word! Bestselling For Dummies author Dan Gookin puts his usual fun and friendly candor back to work to show you how to navigate Word 2013. Spend more time working and less time trying to figure it all out! Check out Word 2013 For Dummies today!

More WordTips (menu)

Hanging Indents in Wrapped Text

If you use hanging indents for some of your paragraphs, you may wonder why they don't look right when they wrap on the ...

Discover More

Hanging Indent Shortcut

You can use the menu commands to adjust the indent applied to a paragraph. If you want to format a hanging indent, Word ...

Discover More

No Space Before at the Top of a Page

Want to make sure that Word handles space before a paragraph correctly when the paragraph is at the top of a page? Check ...

Discover More

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in WordTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

View most recent newsletter.


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 1 + 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

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.