How to Conquer the Microsoft Office Find and Replace Feature


The Find and Replace function in Microsoft Office is a powerful tool. It allows you to use wildcards and even find words that resemble each other. Here's a look at how to master this useful instrument.

Imagine this: you are writing a 10-page document and somewhere if you misspelled a name It turns out that it's Berenst ] to with an A, not Berenst and e. You:

A) Read the whole thing, exchanging each erroneous E for an A

B) Just leave it and I hope no one notices,


C) Use Microsoft Office & # 39; s Find and Replace function to convert each Berenstein into a Berenstain all at once?

Arguably one of the greatest advantages of word processing software and spreadsheets is the ability to instantly locate and edit text and data without manually combing printed pages or ledgers. And the Office Search and Replace options can be really specific, allowing you to use wildcards and even find words that resemble each other. Let's get comfortable by choosing Option C with these tips to conquer the Search and Replace function in Microsoft Office.

Search and Replacement Basics for Word

You can access Find and Replace by opening a Word file and going to Start tab on the ribbon. Then, click on the arrow next to the button Search and select Advanced search .


] just click Replace . You can also use the keyboard shortcut Ctrl + H to directly open the Replace window.


Find and replace the tabs in the window that appears (as well as the Go to tab, where you can specify a precise point in your document to jump ).

If you're just looking and do not need the program to replace any text for you, it's OK to stay in the Search tab. Enter the text you are looking for in the field Find what and Word will search for all instances that match. At this point, since you have not specified any options, your search will show any text that matches, either in uppercase or lowercase, or perhaps in a part of a word.

 Finding it in Word [19659019] Finding it in Word

By clicking on the button Highlight reading all instances are highlighted in yellow, allowing you to see, At a glance, all the places where your search term appears in your document. Click Search next to scroll through all your matches.

 Word Highlighting in Word

The Replace tab adds the ability to replace the text you searched for with the new text you type in the field Replace with . Check the text you are replacing one by one with the button Replace or do the entire document at once with Replace all .

In the following example, Word will change the "lazy" Dog to a "sleepy" one.

 word find and replace a word

Clicking on More will give you a ton of options to customize your search, but first let's review the basics for Excel.

Find and replace the basics for Excel

Inside an Excel spreadsheet, click Search and select and then select Search or Replace from the drop-down list that appears. The keyboard shortcut Ctrl + H also works here.


Excel® Find and Replace works in a similar way to Microsoft Word. Write what you are looking for in the field Find what click on Find next, and Excel will highlight the matching cells. Clicking on Search All will generate a detailed list of matching cells in the Search and Replace window.

You can also make replacements, but keep a close eye on your search criteria. It is easy to make unwanted changes, especially when using Replace All. In the image below, Excel will change both instances of number 2 to 3, which leaves us not only with three cows but also with thirteen chickens.

 Find and replace in Excel

 Excel Match Cell Contents

Now Excel will verify the cells contains only the number 2, so we can click on Replace without affecting our chickens It is a silly example, but it illustrates the type of mishap that can occur, especially if you choose Replace All without checking the results one by one.

Also in Options: check the checkbox Match Cases to make your search case sensitive, choose to search on specific worksheets within your workbook, and specify whether you want to scroll through your matches column by row or row by row. You can even find and replace the cell format.

Advanced Search and Replacement Options in Microsoft Word

Word gives us a lot of options to manipulate Search and Replace. Click More at the bottom of the Search and Replace window to see them.

 Click More in Word

Options range from simple, such as Match Case, to more complex, such as using wildcards and replacing the format.

 More options in Word

Search only full words

With this option selected, Word treats your search term as a complete word and will not search for your search term in other words For example, searching for "he" will not display the word "the".

Match prefix and match suffix

This restricts your search to words that have the same beginning or ending same. If you combine prefixes and look for "love", Word will find "love" and "love", but not "love".

Use wildcards

Allows you to use question marks, asterisks, brackets, and more to modify your search.

Sounds like

This finds words that sound like the one you searched for. Use it to find homonyms or words by which words may vary.

 The word finds a word that sounds like another

Find all the word forms

searched word, as well as any instance that is plural or in a different time. Searching "be" with this option enabled will also produce "are" and "is".

Ignore punctuation characters and Ignore whitespace

This tells Word not to take spaces, periods, hyphens, and the like. .

The Takeaway

Navigating through your document and correcting the multiple incidences of an error does not have to be a nightmare. Even if you are not exactly sure of what you are looking for, you can customize your search Search and replace to limit things. Learning to handle all the power of Find and Replace may seem daunting, but with practice, you will be maneuvering your documents like a professional.

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