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Microsoft Word 2007/2008

Using Find and Replace

Word's Find and Replace function will search your documents for specific text, which can then be highlighted, replaced with different text or formatting, or left as-is. This function provides many advanced options to help make your search as specific as necessary to find what you are looking for.

return to topFinding Text

Word allows you to find specific text in a variety of ways. You may choose to view each occurrence of the text individually, see all occurrences selected at once, or highlight all occurrences even after the Find and Replace dialog box is closed.

Accessing the Find and Replace Dialog Box

To find text, you must first access the Find and Replace dialog box.

  1. Windows: From the Home command tab, in the Editing group, click FIND Find button
    Macintosh: From the Edit menu, select Find...
    OR

    Windows: Press [Ctrl] + [F]
    Macintosh: Press [command] + [F]
    The Find and Replace dialog box appears, with the Find tab displayed.
    Find and Replace dialog box: Find tab

Finding Individual Occurrences

  1. Access the Find and Replace dialog box

  2. In the Find what text box, type the text you want to search for

  3. To set advanced options
    1. Windows: Click MORE >>
      Macintosh: ClickMore options button
    2. Select the desired options

  4. Click FIND NEXT
    The first occurrence of the text is highlighted.
    NOTES:
    The appearance of your document may change as it moves to display the highlighted item.
    The text that is highlighted will be the first occurrence in the document after the location of your insertion point. (i.e., if your insertion point was placed in the middle of the document, this may not be the first occurrence in the document as a whole.)

  5. To find more occurrences of the text, repeat step 4
    NOTE: When Word has shown you every occurrence of the text, a dialog box will appear with the message "Word has finished searching the document."

  6. Click OK

  7. When finished, to close the Find and Replace dialog box, click CLOSE
    OR
    Click CANCEL

Finding All Occurrences

This option will highlight all occurrences of your text until the Find and Replace dialog box is closed.

  1. Access the Find and Replace dialog box

  2. In the Find what text box, type the text you want to search for

  3. To set advanced options
    1. Windows: Click MORE >>
      Macintosh: ClickMore options button
    2. Select the desired options

  4. Windows: Click FIND IN » select Main Document
    Macintosh: Select Highlight all items found in and from the pull-down list, select Main Document

  5. Click FIND ALL
    All occurrences of the text are highlighted.

  6. To close the Find and Replace dialog box, click CLOSE
    OR
    Click CANCEL

Highlighting All Occurrences

This option will highlight all occurrences of your text until you choose to clear the highlighting.

NOTE: This option is for Windows only.

To highlight all occurrences:

  1. Access the Find and Replace dialog box

  2. In the Find what text box, type the text you want to search for

  3. To set advanced options
    1. Click MORE >>
    2. Select the desired options

  4. Click READING HIGHLIGHT » select Highlight All
    All occurrences of the text are highlighted in yellow.

  5. To close the Find and Replace dialog box, click CLOSE
    OR
    Click CANCEL

To clear all highlighting:

  1. Access the Find and Replace dialog box

  2. Click READING HIGHLIGHT » select Clear Highlighting
    All highlighted text returns to normal.

  3. To close the Find and Replace dialog box, click CLOSE
    OR
    Click CANCEL

return to topReplacing Text

Word allows you to choose how to replace text in your document. You may choose to replace all occurrences of a particular word or phrase or look at each occurrence before deciding which to replace.

Accessing the Find and Replace Dialog Box

  1. Windows: From the Home command tab, in the Editing group, click REPLACEReplace button
    Macintosh: From the Edit menu, select Replace...
    OR

    Windows: Press [Ctrl] + [H]
    Macintosh: Press [shift] + [command] + [H]
    The Find and Replace dialog box appears, with the Replace tab displayed.
    Find and Replace dialog box: Replace tab

Replacing Individual Occurrences

  1. Access the Find and Replace dialog box

  2. In the Find what text box, type the text you want to be replaced

  3. In the Replace with text box, type the text that you want to insert

  4. To set advanced options
    1. Windows: Click MORE >>
      Macintosh: ClickMore options button
    2. Select the desired options

  5. To find the first occurrence of your text, click FIND NEXT
    The first occurrence of the text is highlighted.
    NOTES:
    The appearance of your document may change as it moves to display the highlighted item.
    The highlighted text will be the first occurrence in the document after the location of your insertion point (i.e., if your insertion point was placed in the middle of the document, this may not be the first occurrence in the document as a whole).

  6. To replace the selected text, click REPLACE
    To leave this instance as-is and proceed to the next item, click FIND NEXT
    The next occurrence is highlighted.

  7. Click OK

  8. Repeat step 6 until you have replaced all desired occurrences
    NOTE: When Word has shown you every occurrence of the text, a dialog box will appear with the message "Word has finished searching the document."

  9. To close the Find and Replace dialog box, click CLOSE
    OR
    Click CANCEL

Replacing All Occurrences

This option will replace every occurrence of your text without showing you where the text was replaced.

WARNING: Use this option with care, as it may change the meaning of your document if text is replaced where it should not be.

  1. Access the Find and Replace dialog box

  2. In the Find what text box, type the text you want replaced

  3. In the Replace with text box, type the text that you want to insert

  4. To set advanced options
    1. Windows: Click MORE >>
      Macintosh: ClickMore options button
    2. Select the desired options

  5. Click REPLACE ALL
    A dialog box appears, informing you of how many instances of the text were replaced.

  6. Click OK

  7. To close the Find and Replace dialog box, click CLOSE
    OR
    Click CANCEL

return to topAdvanced Options

Word provides additional options to further refine your search.

To access these options:

  1. Access the Find and Replace dialog box

  2. Windows: Click MORE >>
    Macintosh: ClickMore options button
    The Search Options section of the dialog box appears.
    Find and Replace dialog box with Search Options pane displayed

The following list defines the available search options:

Search
Selects whether Word should search for instances of the text below the insertion point (down), above the insertion point (up), or throughout the entire document (all). The default choice is Down.

Match case
Returns only those instances of the text that have the same case (i.e., uppercase or lowercase) as the text in the Find what text box.

Find whole words only
Returns matching whole words only. Word will not return words that contain your text within them.
EXAMPLE: If you search for the, this option will ensure that words such as theater or theme are not included in the search results.

Use wildcards
By using certain characters, allows you to search for very specific words or phrases.
EXAMPLE: Searching for b?ll will find words with any one character between b and ll, such as ball, bill, and bull.

Sounds like (English)
Searches for both exact matches of your text and other text that may sound or look similar to your text.
EXAMPLE: Searching for color will find the words collar and caller.

Find all word forms
Searches for all related forms of your word.
EXAMPLE: If you search for is, Word would also find the forms was and were.

Format
Allows you to search for text with specific formatting, as well as replace text with specific formatting.
EXAMPLE: If you search for occurrences of the word Sincerely that were in Times New Roman font, you could replace them with the words Yours Truly in Calibri font.

Special
Allows you to search for special characters (e.g., dashes or paragraphs), as well as replace them in your document.

No Formatting
This will clear any formatting requirements (e.g., searching for text in a specific font) that were set in previous searches.

Windows only:

Match Prefix
Searches for words beginning with your entry.

Match Suffix
Searches for words ending with your entry.

Ignore punctuation characters
Returns text that is similar to your text, but contains punctuation within it.
EXAMPLE: If you search for recreated, your search results would also include instances of re-created.

Ignore white-space characters
Finds text that is similar to your text, but may contain spaces in different places.
EXAMPLE: If you search for Annamarie, your search results would also include instances of Anna Marie.

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