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Find and Replace Text in Word – Instructions

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A picture that shows how to find and replace text in Word by using the “Find and Replace” dialog box.

Overview of How to Find and Replace Text in Word:

            You can find and replace text in Word using the commands in the “Editing” button group on the “Home” tab of the Ribbon. This button group contains several commands to help you quickly find and replace document content. This can be very useful for quickly revising standard documents that need minor, repetitive text changes.

How to Find Text in Word:

            To find text in Word, click the “Home” tab in the Ribbon. Then click the “Find” button in the “Editing” button group. Doing this then opens the “Navigation” pane at the left side of the document window and shows the “Search Document” search box at the top of the pane.

            Type the word or phrase to find in the document into the search box. Word then automatically finds and highlights the text you type. It also shows matching result locations in the results pane below the search box. You can click any result in the pane to move to that document section. To clear your search results when finished, click the small “x” button at the right end of the search box.

How to Find and Replace Text in Word:

            To find and replace text in Word, click the “Home” tab in the Ribbon. Then click the “Replace” button in the “Editing” button group. Doing this then opens the “Find and Replace” dialog box and shows its “Replace” tab. Type the text to find into the “Find what:” field on this tab. Then enter the text with which to replace the found text into the “Replace with:” field. Then click the “Find Next” button to move to the next occurrence of the text found in the document. The text appears selected.

            To then replace it with the text you entered, click the “Replace” button. You can then continue to click the “Find Next” button and the “Replace” button to move through the document, replacing the text. Alternatively, to replace all instances of the found text with the replacement text you entered throughout the document at once, click the “Replace All” button.

A picture that shows how to find and replace text in Word by using the “Find and Replace” dialog box.

A picture that shows how to find and replace text in Word by using the “Find and Replace” dialog box.

How to Perform an Advanced Find in Word:

            To perform an advanced find of document content in Word, you can also click the “Find” tab in the “Find and Replace” dialog box. Alternatively, to perform an advanced find in Word, click the “Home” tab in the Ribbon. Then click the drop-down arrow to the right of the “Find” button in the “Editing” button group. Then select the “Advanced Find…” command from the button’s drop-down menu to also access this same tab.

How to Set Advanced Find Options in Word:

            To access the advanced options on either the “Find” or “Replace” tabs, click the “More>>” button at the bottom of either tab. The advanced search options then appear at the bottom of the dialog box. To enable or disable these options when performing your search, check or uncheck the checkboxes in the “Search Options” section.

How to Find Formatted Text in Word:

            To find content with specific formatting applied, click the “Format” drop-down. Then choose an option from the list. A dialog box specific to the type of formatting you chose then opens. Choose the options for which to search and then click the “OK” button. The “Format:” you chose then appears below the “Find what:” field. Any search you then perform finds the specific formatting options, as well as the search term(s). To remove any applied formatting from the search, click the “No Formatting” button.

How to Find Special Characters in Word:

            To choose a special character for which to search in the document, click the “Special” drop-down. Searching for a special character works the same as a text search. After choosing the special character for which to search, click the “Find Next” button to move to the next instance of that character in your document. To hide the advanced options on either the “Find” or “Replace” tabs, click the “<<Less” button to collapse the display of these extra options.

How Find and Go to Content in Word:

            The last tab in the “Find and Replace” dialog box is the “Go To” tab. You can use this tab to quickly find document objects and move through the document. To access the “Go To” tab in Word, click the “Home” tab in the Ribbon. Then click the drop-down arrow that appears to the right of the “Find” button in the “Editing” button group. Then select the “Go To…” command from the button’s drop-down menu.

            In the “Go to what:” list on the “Go To” tab, select the object by which to move through the document. Then enter a search reference to the object to which to move into the adjacent field. The specific directions for each selected object from the “Go to what:” list appear next to the text box to help you. For example, if you select “Bookmark,” an “Enter bookmark name:” drop-down appears, containing all the bookmarks you have created.

            Depending on the object type you select, you can then click either the “Go To,” “Previous” or “Next” buttons to browse through the document by the selected object using the increments you entered. To close the “Find and Replace” dialog box after you finish using it, click the “Close” or “Cancel” button or the “X” button in its upper-right corner.

Instructions on How to Find and Replace Text in Word:

Instructions on How to Find Text in Word:

  1. To find text in Word, click the “Home” tab in the Ribbon.
  2. Then click the “Find” button in the “Editing” button group to launch the “Navigation” pane and show the “Search Document” search box at the top of the pane.
  3. Type your search term or phrase into the search box.
  4. Word finds and highlights the text in the document and lists the results in the Navigation pane.
  5. Click any result in the list to jump to that document section.
  6. To clear the search box when finished, click the small “x” at the right of the “Search Document” box.

Instructions on How to Find and Replace Text in Word:

  1. To find and replace text in Word, click the “Replace” button in the “Editing” button group on the “Home” tab of the Ribbon.
  2. The “Find and Replace” dialog box opens and shows the “Replace” tab.
  3. Enter the text to find in the “Find what:” field.
  4. Enter the text with which to replace the found text into the “Replace with:” field.
  5. To move to and select the next occurrence of the text in your document, click the “Find Next” button.
  6. To replace the selected text with the text in the “Replace with:” field, then click the “Replace” button.
  7. Continue clicking “Find Next” and the “Replace” button to move through the document replacing text until you finish.
  8. Alternatively, to replace all instances of the found text with the replacement text you entered, click the “Replace All” button instead of the “Replace” button.

Instructions on How to Perform an Advanced Find in Word:

  1. To perform an advanced find in Word, click the drop-down arrow next to the “Find” button in the “Editing” button group on the “Home” tab of the Ribbon.
  2. Then choose the “Advanced Find…” command to open the “Find and Replace” dialog box and show the “Find” tab.
  3. Alternatively, if the dialog box is already open, you can just click the “Find” tab.
  4. Enter the text for which to search into the “Find what:” text box
  5. Click the “Find Next” button to find the next occurrence of the selected text within the document.

Instructions on How to Set Advanced Find Options in Word:

  1. To access the advanced find options on either the “Find” or “Replace” tabs, click the “More>>” button at the bottom of either tab.
  2. The advanced search options then appear at the bottom of the dialog box.
  3. To enable or disable these options when performing your search, check or uncheck the checkboxes in the “Search Options” section.
Instructions on How to Find Formatted Text in Word:
  1. To find content with specific formatting applied, click the “Format” drop-down and choose one of the options from the list.
  2. A dialog box specific to the formatting you chose opens.
  3. Then choose the options for which to search and click the “OK” button.
  4. The “Format:” you chose appears in the labeled area below the “Find what:” text box.
  5. Any search you enact includes the specific formatting options you chose as well as the search term(s).
  6. To remove any applied formatting from the search, click the “No Formatting” button.
Instructions on How to Find Special Characters in Word:
  1. To choose a special character for which to search in the document, click the “Special” drop-down and choose a character from the list.
  2. Click the “Find Next” button to move to the next instance of that character in your document.
  3. To hide the advanced options on either the “Find” or “Replace” tabs, click the “<<Less” button to collapse the display of these extra options.

How Find and Go to Content in Word:

  1. To quickly find content and move through your document, click the “Find” button’s drop-down arrow in the “Editing” button group on the “Home” tab of the Ribbon.
  2. Then select the “Go To…” command to open the “Find and Replace” dialog box, if needed.
  3. Alternatively, if the dialog box is already open, simply click the “Go To” tab.
  4. In the “Go to what:” list, select the object by which to move through the document.
  5. Enter a search reference for the object to which to move in the adjacent field.
  6. The specific directions for each object from the “Go to what:” list then appear next to the text box to help you.
  7. Depending on the object type you selected, then click either the “Go To,” “Previous” or “Next” buttons to browse through the document by the selected object using the increments you entered.
  8. To close the “Find and Replace” dialog box, click the “Close” or “Cancel” button or the “X” button in the upper-right corner of the dialog box.

Video Lesson on How to Find and Replace Text in Word:

            The following video lesson, titled “Finding and Replacing Text,” shows you how to find and replace text in Word. This video lesson is from our complete Word tutorial, titled “Mastering Word Made Easy v.2019 and 365.”

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