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: Formatting Partial Results of a Search.

Formatting Partial Results of a Search

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated December 12, 2015)

1

Agnes has a series of paragraphs that begin with a title that is followed by a period and two spaces. She would like to search for this pattern (multiple words at the beginning of a paragraph followed by a period and two spaces) and underline just the words, exclusive of the period and the spaces.

This can be done with a wildcard search, in the following manner:

  1. If the first paragraph in your document includes information you want to have underlined, position the insertion point at the beginning of the document and press Enter a single time.
  2. Jump to the end of your document. (This is important; the reason will be explained shortly.)
  3. Press Ctrl+H. Word displays the Replace tab of the Find and Replace dialog box.
  4. Click the More button if it is available. (See Figure 1.)
  5. Figure 1. The Replace tab of the Find and Replace dialog box.

  6. Enter the following in the Find What box: ^13[A-z 0-9]{1,}[!. ]
  7. Enter the following in the Replace With box: ^&
  8. With the insertion point in the Replace With box, press Ctrl+U.
  9. Make sure the Use Wildcards check box is selected.
  10. Using the Search drop-down list, chose Up. (You are at the end of the document and you want to search upwards through the document.)
  11. Click on Replace All.
  12. Close the Find and Replace dialog box.
  13. If you pressed Enter in step 1, you can get rid of that blank paragraph.

That's it. The search pattern you entered in step 4 indicates that you want to search for paragraph marks (^13) followed by any length combination of letters and digits ([A-z 0-9]{1,}), terminated by a period and two spaces ([!. ]). The exclamation mark on means that while the period and two spaces are to be used to determine a match, they aren't to be included in the actual text that is found.

All of this is then used in the Replace With, as the ^& combination means to use the "found" text as the replacement. This, however, is formatted with an underline.

Understand that steps 2 and 9 are very important. If you don't do the search from the bottom of the document toward the top, you won't get the desired results.

As presented above, the steps result in all the text before the period being underlined. If you prefer to have a different type of underline (such as underlining only the words), then in step 7 you should click the Format button, choose Font, and use the Underline drop-down list to specify the type of underline you desire.

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (9075) 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: Formatting Partial Results of a Search.

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

Inconsistent Formatting in an Index

When indexing a document, you may find that some of your index entries aren't formatted the save as your other index ...

Discover More

Why Should I Upgrade?

As new versions of software are released, users are perpetually faced with the decision of whether to upgrade their ...

Discover More

Turning Off Paste Options

Paste information into a document and you'll immediately see a small icon next to the pasted information. This icon ...

Discover More

Learning Made Easy! Quickly teach yourself how to format, publish, and share your content using Word 2013. With Step by Step, you set the pace, building and practicing the skills you need, just when you need them! Check out Microsoft Word 2013 Step by Step today!

More WordTips (menu)

Understanding Pattern Matching

Pattern matching is a type of searching you can do in Word that is very powerful. Despite its power, it remains rather ...

Discover More

Matching At the Beginning or End of a Word

The pattern matching capabilities of Word's search engine are quite powerful. You can tailor your search pattern so that ...

Discover More

Searching for Characters

When using pattern matching in a search, you can specify individual characters or ranges of characters you want matched ...

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. 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 seven less than 9?

2015-12-12 13:55:00

Phil Rabichow

Problem solved, but with a different solution. It's a 3 step process.
Using wildcards:
1. Find: (^13[A-z 0-9]{1,})([.][ ]{2})
Note that this uses 2 expressions. The first finds a paragraph mark followed by any combination of letters, spaces, & numbers. The 2nd finds a single period followed by 2 spaces.
Replace all: 1%%%% & press Ctrl+U to make it underlined. The 1 replaces only the first expression, so the %%%% (any series of characters that aren't in your document) replaces the period & two spaces, all underlined.
2. Find: %%%%
Replace all: press Ctrl+U to change the formatting to "no underline" & type a period & 2 spaces. (then do replace all)

This technique is the only one I found that changes part of a "find".


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.