Tag Archives: Find and Replace

Find, Replace And Format In One Action

find_replace_select_IWait, wait how did you do that? Every now and again you get these wondered looks from other users when performing an action in Word, Excel, PowerPoint and so on. A couple of days ago I was reviewing a document and decided that a specific word needed to be replaced by another word and should be emphasized in that specific document. With a blink of an eye I replaced every occurrence of that specific word, replaced it by the one I thought would be appropriate and formatted is at the same time. How I did it? Here we go…

Sample document
You can follow the steps by creating a simple document. We will start of by starting Word. Choose blank document and type the following: =rand(50) followed by pressing Enter
This should give you 50 paragraphs of random text extracted from the help files. That should give you something to play with.

This sample text contains the word document frequently. For demonstration purposes this is great. We are going to replace this word with the word File and emphasize it by making it Bold and Red at the same time.

Start by clicking the Replace option in the Home tab in the group Editing (far right on the home tab).
find_replace_select_IIThis will present you with the following dialog:
find_replace_select_IIINow here is where we provide the necessary information. First we type in the word File in the “Replace with:” text box. Now the important next step is hidden under the “More >>” button. So click that and your dialog will be expended to the following situation:
find_replace_select_IVThe “More >>” caption has changed to “<< Less“. We are looking for formatting options so at the bottom left you will see a button that states “Format”. Click that button and a new menu will appear. From the menu choose “Font”. This will present you with the following dialog:
find_replace_select_VThis is a dialog you should be familiar with. Make the appropriate choices and click OK. The font dialog will be closed returning to the previous dialog. One major change has been added. This is often the part being overlooked by many users. Have a look at the image below and focus on the red box around the formatting option:
find_replace_select_VIThis indicates that it will replace the word “document” with the word “file” and will format that specific word blue and bold! Now click replace all to see if we achieved some result.

find_replace_select_VIIWe did! It replaced 50 instances of the word document with the word file and applied the appropriate formatting as well. The output looks like this:
find_replace_select_VIIINo text just formatting?
Is it possible to just replace the formatting and don’t replace a word? Yes it is. If you wanted to apply a formatting to the word document and not replace it by any other word just leave the “replace with..” text box empty and click it once so it has focus. Now follow the same steps as described earlier and click replace all. This will replace all occurrences of the word document with the word document with formatting applied to it just the way you set it up!

You can make a real efficiency boost by applying the various techniques in Word. Instead of taking 50 steps by clicking every word you can apply it all in one action. Believe me if you have used this once you will never go back!