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Advanced Find-and-Replace Tools in Word

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One of most valuable tools in Word is the Find and Replace command, which makes it a snap to locate any text and replace it with new text. But you might not know that this command goes way beyond the basics to provide a truly flexible tool for working with document content and formatting. Peter Aitken shows you how to use all the powerful options that this command offers.
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In any word processor, one of most valuable tools is the Find and Replace command, which makes it a snap to locate any text—any string of characters—in the document and optionally replace it with new text. In its basic form, using Find and Replace is easily understood by even the most novice computer user. But you may not know that this command goes way beyond the basics to provide a truly flexible tool for working with document content and formatting. This article shows you how to use these features.

Highlighting Text

Normally, the Find command locates the first instance of the text in the document. Clicking Find Next locates the next one, and so on. You can, however, find all instances at once. Word will highlight each place where the text is found, making it easy to spot. Pressing any cursor movement key removes the highlighting. Here are the required steps:

  1. In the Find dialog box, enter the text you want to find in the Find What box.
  2. Select the Highlight All Items Found In option.
  3. From the drop-down list, select the part of the document to be searched. Main Document will always be listed here, and is the default. If you added other elements to the document, such as headers and/or footers, they will be listed as well.
  4. Click the Find All button.
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