If you are looking for a simple approach (or shortcut) to find and replace text in Word, you’ll love this guide.
Without further ado, below is a quick guide on this task:
To find and replace text in Word, press Ctrl+H shortcut to display the Find and Replace dialog box. In the Find what: field, type the Word you want to replace. In the Replace with: field, type the replacement word. Click Replace to replace matches one after the other or Replace All to replace all at once.
For a more detailed tutorial with pictures, let’s break it down in steps.
Related Article: How to search in Word – Step by step
Steps to Find and Replace in Word
- Launch the Word Document where you want to find and replace text.
- Press Ctrl+H shortcut to display the Find and Replace dialog.
- In the Find what: text box, type the text or word you want to replace.
- In the Replace with: text box, type the replacement text or word.
- Click on the Replace button to replace the first found instance and find the next. Use this button if you want to replace matching instances one after the other.
- Click on Replace All to replace all matching instances. Of course, use this button if you want to replace all matching instances at once.
- Click on the Find Next button to find the first matching instance of the search term. Word will highlight the next matching instance in gray.
- If you use the Replace All button, Word will display a message box telling you that the search is complete and count the number of replacements made.
- Click on the OK button of the message box.
- After the replacements, click on the close button to dismiss the dialog.
These are the steps you may use to find and replace text in Word.
Safety tips: Save the work before you hit on the Replace All button. This way, if it turns out that clicking on the Replace All was a mistake, you can undo it by pressing Ctrl+Z shortcut.
Related: How to find and replace in Word for Mac
Find and Replace text Formatting
What makes Word’s Find and Replace feature so beautiful is its ability to find and replace fonts and text formatting.
For example, you may want to change all underlined formatting to italic. This way, the text itself will not change; it’s only the formatting that will change from underline to italic.
Using this trick is a little tricky, so you’ll need to pay attention!
Without further ado, let’s get started on how to find and replace text formatting in Word.
Our example will find all underlined formatting and replace it with italic.
- Press Ctrl+Home shortcut to position the insertion pointer at the top of the document.
- Press Ctrl+H shortcut to display the Find and Replace dialog box, with the replace tab active.
- Click on the More button to expand the dialog box.
- Click inside the Find what: text box and leave it blank.
- Click the Format button and choose Font from the drop-down list.
- The Replace Font dialog box will appear. Select the format you want to find. For our example, click the Underline style: drop-down and select single underline from the list.
- Click OK to close the Replace Font dialog box and navigate back to the Find and Replace dialog box.
- Click inside the Replace with: text box and leave it blank.
- Click the Format button again and select Font from the drop-down list.
- The Replace Font dialog box will appear. From the Font Style: list, choose Italic.
- From the Underline style: list, choose none.
What we did here will find all underline and replace them with italics.
- Click OK to close the Replace Font dialog.
- After successfully doing all the above steps, the Search and Replace dialog box should look similar to the screenshot below:
- Click on the Replace All button to search and replace the formatting throughout the document. A message box will appear to show that the task is complete and the number of replacements made. Now if you look into your Word document, all the underlined text will change to italic.
- Click the OK button to dismiss the message box.
- After successfully, replacing the formatting, click inside the Find what: text box and click on the No Formatting button. Do the same for the Replace with: text box. This step removes the formatting option for the next Find and Replace operation.
- Now close the dialog.
These are the basic and advanced ways to find and replace text in MS Word.