helicopters - Image Source: pixabay.com/ SkeezeIn my last tip I covered the basics of searching for a word or number in a document. I also covered that you can search in just part of the document not the whole document which is very useful to many people. What I did not cover there was the fact that you can also refine your search and replace.

How to refine a search in the Replace feature in Word.

  • Place your cursor at the very start of your document or select the area you require to search.
  • Select the Replace tool. Replace ButtonThis dialog box appears. Find and Replace Dialog box
  • Type the word you are looking for in the first line.
  • Select the More button at the bottom left of this dialog box.

More ButtonThis expands the dialog box revealing many more options which you could use. More optionsFor instance, only search for the word matching in case. Or only whole word which does not result in the word being part of another. Replace with case


You might have typed this word several times in your document with just the wrong formatting. Here you can ask for just replacing the word with the same word but with the required formatting. Or search only the selected settings in the Search options.

An example are some companies or technology named with unusual capitalisation such as QuickBooks, eBay or iPad.

You can also set replacement formatting options in the replace section at the bottom. Use the Format button for this.

Formatt ButtonFormat ListReplace Font

  • First use Find to locate all the instances of this word.
  • Then select Replace and make your changes.

I would always advise to find each word in turn and replace as appropriate. Use the Find Next and Replace buttons.

Replace Replace all and Find Next

Here is an example. Example search

Here is the result. ResultWhen the program has reached the end of the document you get a message asking if you would like to start from the beginning of the document again. I would advise this would be beneficial.

Finding Special Characters

If you are looking for things like paragraph marks place your cursor in the Find line and select the Special Button to have this list appear to choose from. Special ButtonFind SpecialThis list changes when you type text into the Replace with line. Replace SpecialI hope this tip has shown you new ways to find and replace the items you are looking for in Word. It will hopefully make your life easier and leaves you with the knowledge that you corrected every entry you mean to in your entire document.  


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