How to Find and replace text in Word

On Windows

  1. Go to Home > Replace or press Ctrl+H.
  2. Enter the word or phrase you want to locate in the Find box.
  3. Enter your new text in the Replace box.
  4. Select Find Next until you come to the word you want to update.
  5. Choose Replace. To update all instances at once, choose Replace All.

To specify only upper or lowercase in your search, select More > Match case.

Match case

For other options, see Find and replace text

On mac OS

Find and replace basic text

Enter text to search for in the document

In the upper-right corner of the document, in the search box  , type the word or phrase that you want to find, and Word will highlight all instances of the word or phrase throughout the document.

To replace found text:

  1. Select the magnifying glass, and then select Replace.
  2. In the Replace With box, type the replacement text.
  3. Select Replace All or Replace.Tips: 
    • You can also open the basic Find and Replace pane with the keyboard shortcut CONTROL + H.
    • When you replace text, it’s a good idea to select Replace instead of Replace All. That way you can review each item before replacing it.

Find text with specific formatting

You can find text with special formatting, such as bold or highlight, by using the Format menu.

  1. Select View > Navigation Pane.
  2. In the Navigation Pane, select the magnifying glass.
  3. Select Settings  , and then select Advanced Find & Replace.Notes: 
    • Select the arrow at the bottom of the Find and Replace dialog box to show all options.
  4. On the Format menu, select the option that you want.If a second dialog box opens, select the options that you want, and then select OK.
  5. In the Find and Replace dialog box, select Find Next or Find All.

Find text with specific formatting and replace the formatting

You can find and replace text with special formatting, such as bold or highlight, by using the Format menu.

  1. Select View > Navigation Pane.
  2. In the Navigation Pane, select the magnifying glass.
  3. Select Settings  , and then select Advanced Find & Replace.
  4. At the top of the dialog box, select Replace.Notes: 
    • Select the arrow at the bottom of the Find and Replace dialog box to show all options.
  5. On the Find what box, type the text that you want to find.
  6. On the Format menu, select the formatting that you want to find.If a second dialog box opens, select the options that you want, and then select OK.
  7. Select in the box next to Replace with.
  8. On the Format menu, select the replacement formatting. If a second dialog box appears, select the formats that you want, and then select OK.
  9. Select ReplaceReplace All, or Find Next.

Find paragraph marks, page breaks, or other special characters

  1. Select View > Navigation Pane.
  2. In the Navigation Pane, select the magnifying glass.
  3. Select Settings  , and then select Advanced Find & Replace.Notes: 
    • Select the arrow at the bottom of the Find and Replace dialog box to show all options.
  4. On the Special menu, select the special character that you want to find.
  5. Select Find Next.

Find and replace paragraph marks, page breaks, or other special characters

  1. Select View > Navigation Pane.
  2. In the Navigation Pane, select the magnifying glass.
  3. Select Settings  , and then select Advanced Find & Replace.Notes: 
    • Select the arrow at the bottom of the Find and Replace dialog box to show all options.
  4. At the top of the Find and Replace dialog box, select Replace and then select in the Find What box, but don’t type anything there. Later, when you select a special character, Word will automatically put the character code in the box for you.Note: Select the arrow at the bottom of the Find and Replace dialog box to show all options.
  5. On the Special menu, select the special character that you want to find.
  6. Select in the Replace with box.
  7. On the Special menu, select the special character that you want to use as a replacement.
  8. Select Replace or Find Next.

Use wildcard characters to find and replace text

  1. Select View > Navigation Pane.
  2. In the Navigation Pane, select the magnifying glass.
  3. Select Settings  , and then select Advanced Find & Replace.
  4. Select the Use wildcards check box.If you don’t see the Use wildcards check box, select  .
  5. Select the Special menu, select a wildcard character, and then type any additional text in the Find what box.
  6. Select Find Next.Tips: 
    • To cancel a search in progress, press  + PERIOD.
    • You can also enter a wildcard character directly in the Find what box instead of selecting an item from the Special pop-up menu.
    • To search for a character that’s defined as a wildcard character, type a backslash (\) before the character. For example, type \? to find a question mark.
    • You can use parentheses to group the wildcard characters and text and to indicate the order of evaluation. For example, search for <(pre)*(ed)> to find “presorted” and “prevented.”
    • You can search for an expression and use the \n wildcard character to replace the search string with the rearranged expression. For example, type (Newman) (Belinda) in the Find what box and \2 \1 in the Replace with box. Word will find “Newman Belinda” and replace it with “Belinda Newman.”
  7. To replace found text:
    1. Select the Replace tab, and then select the Replace with box.
    2. Select Special, select a wildcard character, and then type any additional text in the Replace with box.
    3. Select Replace AllReplace, or Find Next.Tip: When you replace text, it’s a good idea to select Replace instead of Replace All. That way you can confirm each replacement to make sure that it’s correct.

Wildcard characters you can use

You can refine a search by using any of the following wildcard characters.

To findUse thisFor example
Any single character?s?t finds “sat” and “set.”
Any string of characters*s*d finds “sad” and “started.”
One of the specified characters[ ]w[io]n finds “win” and “won.”
Any single character in this range[-][r-t]ight finds “right” and “sight” and “tight.”Ranges must be in ascending order.
Any single character except the characters inside the brackets[!]m[!a]st finds “mist” and “most” but not “mast.”
Any single character except characters in the range inside the brackets[!x-z]t[!a-m]ck finds “tock” and “tuck” but not “tack” or “tick.”Ranges must be in ascending order.
Exactly n occurrences of a character or expressionn}fe{2}d finds “feed” but not “fed.”
At least n occurrences of a character or expressionn,}fe{1,}d finds “fed” and “feed.”
A range of occurrences of a character or expressionnn}10{1,3} finds “10,” “100,” and “1000.”
One or more occurrences of a character or expression@lo@t finds “lot” and “loot.”
The beginning of a word<<(inter) finds “interesting” and “intercept” but not “splintered.”
The end of a word>(in)> finds “in” and “within,” but not “interesting.”

Web

Word for the web lets you find and replace basic text. You can match case or fine whole words only. For more varied options, open your document in Word for the desktop.

About the Author

Sande Kennedy is the founder and Editor in Chief of SandeKennedy.co.ke & Kenyans247.co.ke He is a Kenyan-based Internetprenuer,blogger Political Activist & informer who has an interest in politics, governance, corporate-fraud and human-interest. Kindly drop me a note if you feel aggrieved on any matter that you would want to be highlighted  Twitter: @nyosake , Instagram: @itssandekennedy WhatsApp: +254791890826 Read More about me here