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

Written by Allen Wyatt (last updated March 10, 2021)
This tip applies to Word 97, 2000, 2002, and 2003


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. ...

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