#212 Word’s Powerful Find & Replace Options

I think most people probably know about the basics of find and replace don’t they?  However most people have no idea just how powerful it can be…nor how much time it can save you.  Here is a basic primer on extending what you can to power up your Find & Replace skills.

Basic Find & Replace

You can automatically replace a word or phrase with another — for example, replace AEP with American Electric Power.

WARNING: The replacement text uses the same capitalization as the text that it replaces unless you select the Match case check box.

Find & Replace Formatting:

You can search for and replace or remove character formatting. For example, you can search for American Electric Power and change the font to bold and red. Or you can search for everything that is in bold and change it to a heading style. (Shown below)  To access the formatting options, click the More button, then click the Format button to specify what you want.

Find & Replace Special Characters

You can really benefit from Find & Replace when you are cleaning up a document by working with document elements such as tabs and manual page breaks.  For example, a quick way to remove all the empty paragraphs is to find all double paragraph breaks and replace them with single paragraph breaks. (The symbol for a paragraph break is ^p)

Here is a listing of some common document elements you might want to work with:

NOTE: It’s VERY helpful to turn on these non-printing characters in Word when doing this.

If you’ve read this far down without losing interest here are even more details including a full listing of codes, wildcards, etc

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