How to Make Use of Find and Replace on Microsoft Word

Sometimes, you finish typing a report, presentation, or letter and discover that you have some consistent spelling errors in the Word document. If the document is short, changing a few won't take much time. However, you can do that quickly by using the Find and Replace option in Word.

How to make use of find and replace on Microsoft Word feature image

The Find feature allows you to identify all occurrences of a certain word, while the Replace feature allows you to substitute words. Here’s how you can use both features.

Find Text

By using a simple shortcut on your keyboard, you can access the Find feature on the Navigation panel of Microsoft Word. Here’s how it works:

Step 1: Launch the Microsoft Word document.

How to make use of find and replace on Microsoft Word step 1

Step 2: Press the CTRL + F keys simultaneously to launch the Navigation pane.

How to make use of find and replace on Microsoft Word step 2

Step 3: Provide the text that you want to find in the text box labeled Search document.

How to make use of find and replace on Microsoft Word step 3

Step 4: Press Enter on your keyboard to continue your search and you will see the related matches within the Navigation pane. The tool highlights every matching word in the text, even the partially matched ones.

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Step 5: Move from one result to another using the arrows beside the text box. Also, you can click on any of the results to edit them directly.

How to make use of find and replace on Microsoft Word step 5

Step 6: If your document has headings, you can search the document through the Headings tab. Go to the Navigation pane and select any headings to browse your document using headings.

How to make use of find and replace on Microsoft Word step 6

Step 7: Click on the Pages tab under the Navigation page to search by pages. When you do, you will see thumbnails of each page in the document. Click on the page you want and find the text there.

How to make use of find and replace on Microsoft Word step 7

You can close the Navigation Pane after editing the document, and all the highlights will disappear. If you would like to use the find feature to search for special characters in a Word document, you can try the next method.

Find Text with Special Characteristics (Advanced Find)

The Advanced Find feature comes in handy if you need to search for more specific phrases or words. Examples include special characters, only full words, or a special style or font. Advanced Find helps you to track these phrases or words with ease. Check the steps below to find out how:

Step 1: Launch the Microsoft Word document.

How to make use of find and replace on Microsoft Word step 1

Step 2: On the Ribbon, click on the drop-down under Editing.

How to make use of find and replace on Microsoft Word step 8

Step 3: Click on the drop-down arrow beside Find and click on Advanced Find to launch the Find and Replace dialog box.

Note: You can press the CTRL + H keys simultaneously on your keyboard to launch the Find and Replace dialog box.

How to make use of find and replace on Microsoft Word step 9

Step 4: If you want to customize your search, click on More. Once you do this, you will access more options for your advanced search. You can select any of the options below:

  • Match case
  • Use wildcards
  • Find whole words only
  • Sounds like
  • Match prefix
  • Match suffix
  • Find all word forms
  • Ignore white-space characters
  • Ignore punctuation characters
How to make use of find and replace on Microsoft Word step 10

Replace Text

One way to replace a specific phrase or word is to use the Replace Text feature. We will show you how to do this in the steps below:

Step 1: Launch the Microsoft Word document.

How to make use of find and replace on Microsoft Word step 1

Step 2: On the Ribbon, click on the drop-down under Editing.

How to make use of find and replace on Microsoft Word step 8

Step 3: Click on the drop-down arrow beside Find and click on Replace to launch the Find and Replace dialog box.

How to make use of find and replace on Microsoft Word step 14

Step 4: You should see two fields in the Find and Replace window. Add the word or phrase you want to replace in the Find what box and the new phrase or word in the Replace with box.

How to make use of find and replace on Microsoft Word step 11

Step 5: If you would like to replace a specific search result, select Replace. However, if you would like to replace all search results, select Replace All.

How to make use of find and replace on Microsoft Word step 12

Replace Text with Special Characteristics

This feature is very similar to the Advanced Find option above. It allows you to find text and replace them with characters, phrases, or words in a specific style or font, capitalization, or punctuations. The steps below will guide you on how to use this option:

Step 1: Launch the Microsoft Word document.

How to make use of find and replace on Microsoft Word step 1

Step 2: On the Ribbon, click on the drop-down under Editing.

How to make use of find and replace on Microsoft Word step 8

Step 3: Click on the drop-down arrow beside Find and click on Replace to launch the Find and Replace dialog box.

How to make use of find and replace on Microsoft Word step 14

Step 4: You should see two fields in the Find and Replace window. Add the special word or phrase you want to replace in the Find what box and the new phrase or word in the Replace with box.

How to make use of find and replace on Microsoft Word step 11

Step 5: If you want to go further with customizing your search, click on More and tick the relevant boxes for your Replace feature.

How to make use of find and replace on Microsoft Word step 13

Change Words Easily

That’s it for how to use Find and Replace in Microsoft Word. If you would like to keep track of all updates made with Find and Replace, ensure you enable the track changes feature in Microsoft Word.


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Maria is a Content Writer with a keen interest in Technology and Productivity Tools. Her articles can be found on sites such as Onlinetivity and Delesign. Outside of work, you can find her mini-blogging about her life on social media.