Changing All Text of a Particular Color

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated April 6, 2019)

Steve has a document which, in various places, uses a text color that has an RGB value of 102, 255, 255. This, in the end, proved an inadequate color for his needs, so he needs to change the color of all that text to have an RGB value of 181, 255, 255. Steve wonders if there is a way to make the change all at once.

There are three ways you can go about approaching this problem. The first is to rely on styles. The idea would be to create a character style for the text you want in that particular color. When you are creating the document, apply that style to all those words you want to appear in that color. Then, when you need to change the color (or any other attributes of that text), simply make your changes to the style. This results in all instances of text to which the style is applied being updated, immediately.

The second approach is to simply use Find and Replace. Follow these steps:

  1. Press Ctrl+H. Word displays the Replace tab of the Find and Replace dialog box.
  2. Click the More button, if it is available. The dialog box expands.
  3. Make sure the Find box is empty and the insertion point is in that box.
  4. Click the Format button and then click Font. Word displays the Find Font dialog box.
  5. Click the Font Color drop-down list and choose More Colors. Word displays the Colors dialog box.
  6. Make sure the Custom tab is displayed.
  7. Using the Red, Green, and Blue controls, specify the RGB values of the text you want to change.
  8. Click OK to dismiss the Colors dialog box.
  9. Click OK to dismiss the Find Font dialog box. The Find and Replace dialog box should still be visible, with the custom color showing under the Find box.
  10. Make sure the Replace With box is empty and the insertion point is in that box.
  11. Click the Format button and then click Font. Word displays the Replace Font dialog box.
  12. Click the Font Color drop-down list and choose More Colors. Word displays the Colors dialog box.
  13. Make sure the Custom tab is displayed.
  14. Using the Red, Green, and Blue controls, specify the RGB values of the color you want to use.
  15. Click OK to dismiss the Colors dialog box.
  16. Click OK to dismiss the Replace Font dialog box. The Find and Replace dialog box should still be visible, with the custom color showing under the Replace box.
  17. Click Replace All. Word displays a dialog box informing you how many replacements it made.
  18. Click OK to dismiss the information dialog box.
  19. Click Close to dismiss the Find and Replace dialog box.

Finally, you can always use a macro to make the replacements. This is particularly useful if you have a large number of documents in which you need to make the same change. The following macro essentially automates the Find-and-Replace steps just presented.

Sub FixColor()
    With Selection.Find
        .ClearFormatting
        .Font.Color = RGB(102, 255, 255)
        .Text = ""
        .Forward = True
        .Wrap = wdFindContinue
        .Format = True
        .MatchCase = False
        .MatchWholeWord = False
        .MatchWildcards = False
        .MatchSoundsLike = False
        .MatchAllWordForms = False

        .Replacement.ClearFormatting
        .Replacement.Font.Color = RGB(181, 255, 255)
        .Replacement.Text = ""
    End With
    Selection.Find.Execute Replace:=wdReplaceAll
End Sub

Note:

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WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (6858) applies to Microsoft Word 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, and Word in Office 365.

Author Bio

Allen Wyatt

With more than 50 non-fiction books and numerous magazine articles to his credit, Allen Wyatt is an internationally recognized author. He is president of Sharon Parq Associates, a computer and publishing services company. ...

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