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Find and Replace in Word 2016

Microsoft Word 2016 Tutorial with 4 videos
Free Online Microsoft Word Tutorial

  • Using Find in Word
  • The Navigation Pane in Word
  • How to Find and Replace in Word 2016
  • Performing a Replace ALL in Word
  • Using Select Text in Word
  • Advanced Find and Replace in Word 2016
  • Word Find and Replace Shortcuts

Test your MS Word skills with the corresponding FREE Online Multiple Choice
Find and Replace in Word 2016 Test



* Find and Replace in Word 2016

Scanning through a document for a single word or phrase, even in short documents, can be time consuming when done manually. When doing this for the purpose of replacing a word or phrase that is repeated throughout the document, it can be even more odious. Luckily, Word provides Find and Replace features. These can be found in the ‘Editing’ section of the ‘Home’ tab on the Ribbon.

Find and Replace on the Word Ribbon


* Using Find in Word

A quick video overvue of using Find in Word

Clicking the ‘Find’ button or using the Find keyboard shortcut (Ctrl+F), will display and focus the ‘Results’ section of the ‘Navigation Pane’


Using find in Word - the navigation pane.


Simply type the word or phrase you wish to search for into the text box and click the magnifying glass or press ENTER.


Navigation Pane search example

Word will list the search results in the ‘Navigation Pane’, as well as highlight all instances of the search term in the document view itself. You can move between the results by clicking the arrows or by selecting the results previews.


Search Options in Word video




* The Navigation Pane in Word

A quick video overvue of the navigation pane in Word



In order to have the ‘Navigation Pane’ displayed permanently, you can enable it in the ‘Show’ section, under the ‘View’ tab, by placing a check the ‘Navigation Pane’ checkbox.

Show the navigation pane on the ribbon in Word

In order to hide the ‘Navigation Pane’, you can remove the check from this section again.

Hide the navigation pane on the ribbon in Word

Alternatively, you can close it by clicking the x in the top right corner of the ‘Navigation Pane’ itself.



* How to Find and Replace in Word 2016

A quick video overvue of Find and Replace in Word



If you click the downwards facing triangle, to the right of the ‘Find’ button, you’ll see an option for ‘Advanced Find’. Clicking this will open the ‘Find and Replace’ dialogue. Clicking the ‘Replace’ button opens the same dialogue, but with the ‘Replace’ tab selected. Alternatively, the dialogue can be opened using the keyboard shortcut (Ctrl+H).

How to Find and Replace in Word 2016

Under the ‘Replace’ tab, you can type the search phrase (the word or phrase you wish to change) into the ‘Find what:’ text box. You can also type the replacement phrase (whatever you wish to change it to) into the ‘Replace with:’ text box.
Clicking ‘Find Next’ will search the document, select the first match it comes across, and display it in the document view for you to review. If you’re sure you wish to replace the selected text, you can click the ‘Replace’ button and/or click the ‘Find Next’ button to move to the next successful match.



* Performing a Replace ALL in Word 2016

On the same ‘Find and Replace’ dialogue we just covered; you’ll notice a button labelled ‘Replace All’. This should be handled with care, as clicking the button will replace all instances of the search text, without the opportunity to review the changes before they are made. On the other hand, if you are already certain you wish to make these changes, ‘Replace All’ can perform thousands of changes in just a few seconds.




* Using Select Text in Word

Beneath the ‘Find’ and ‘Replace’ buttons, is the Select menu. It is here that you will find the option to ‘Select All Text with Similar Formatting’.

Select ALL text with similar formatting in Word

Clicking this option will select all text in the document which matches the style and formatting of the text where your text cursor is currently located.

For example, if you’ve selected text which is styled as Normal, clicking this menu option will select all Normal styled text in the document. Alternatively, if you’ve selected text which is styled as Normal and set to bold, all bolded Normal text will be selected.
This feature can be useful in conjunction with Replace, as the Replace function will limit its operation to the selected text.

If you need a quick refresher on Styles in Word, see our tutorial on the subject.



* Advanced Find and Replace in Word 2016

Advanced options for both Find and Replace can be accessed by clicking the ‘More >>’ button at the bottom right of the ‘Find and Replace’ dialogue.

Advanced Find and Replace in Word 2016


The ‘Search’ combo box allows you to specify whether to search the entire document, or to search only from your cursor position, either upwards or downwards.

Usually, capitalization (case) is not considered when performing a Find/Replace in Word, meaning lowercase characters and their uppercase equivalents are evaluated as being the identical. However, enabling ‘Match case’ will ensure capitalization is taken into account when searching the document for matches.

Find/Replace will often find a partial match. For example, when searching for the word “and”, you might find a match to the last three characters of “land”. You can prevent this by enabling ‘Find whole words only‘. This can be especially helpful when performing a replace command.

Enabling ‘Use wildcards’ allows you to use Windows wildcards such as “*” to get partial matches. This option cannot be used in conjunction with ‘Match case’ or ‘Find whole words only’.

The ‘Sounds like (English)‘ option attempts to match words that are phonetically similar, such as “which” and “Witch”.

The ‘Find all word forms (English)’ option will match all verb tenses. For example, searching for the word "find" will get matches for "finds", "finding", and "found".

Match prefix’ and ‘Match suffix’ can be used together with the other settings to find and replace words with common prefixes (beginnings) or suffixes (endings) respectively.

Enabling ‘Ignore punctuation characters’ is quite self-explanatory and is helpful for finding words or phrases where you are unsure of the placement of commas, hyphens, etc.

Similarly, ‘Ignore white-space characters’ ignores spacing between characters.

The ‘Format’ button allows you to specify formatting options such as Font types or colors, paragraph formatting (left, right, center), highlighted words, and Styles. These specifications can be cleared by clicking the ‘No Formatting’ button.
And finally, the ‘Special’ button is helpful for including page and character elements such as tabs, or Section Breaks.



* Word Find and Replace Shortcuts

Effect

Key Combo

Find

Ctrl+F

Replace

Ctrl+H



Woohoo! Now that you have done the tutorial:


Test your MS Word skills with the corresponding FREE Online Multiple Choice
Find and Replace in Word 2016 Test


* TRY THE NEXT TUTORIAL: Formatting Text in Word Tutorial 2016

* TRY THE NEXT TEST: Formatting Text in Word Test 2016





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