Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Word versions: 2007, 2010, and 2013. If you are using an earlier version (Word 2003 or earlier), this tip may not work for you. For a version of this tip written specifically for earlier versions of Word, click here: Finding Formatted Bulleted Paragraphs.
by Allen Wyatt
(last updated February 21, 2015)
If you are working with a large formatted document, you may want to use Find and Replace to search for different document elements. At some point you may wonder if there is a way to search for bulleted paragraphs. (You know—the ones you use the Bullets tool on the Home tab of the ribbon to create.) Unfortunately, there is no built-in way to do this. Word doesn't allow you to search for a "bulleted" attribute, nor does it allow you to search for the actual bullet or the tab character following the bullet.
One solution is to simply search for the paragraph indenting applied by the bullet format you want to find. Thus, if the format applies a half-inch indent, then you could search for that. Of course, that leaves the potential problem of finding other non-bulleted paragraphs with a similar indent.
Another solution is to create a macro that will search for bulleted paragraphs. The following VBA macro will do the trick:
Sub FindBullet() Dim rngTarget As Word.Range Dim oPara As Word.Paragraph Set rngTarget = Selection.Range With rngTarget Call .Collapse(wdCollapseEnd) .End = ActiveDocument.Range.End For Each oPara In .Paragraphs If oPara.Range.ListFormat.ListType = _ WdListType.wdListBullet Then oPara.Range.Select Exit For End If Next End With End Sub
The best way to use the macro is to assign it to a shortcut key. Each time you invoke the macro, the next bulleted paragraph within the document is selected. When the end of the document is reached, the selection remains set to the last bulleted paragraph.
If you think that you may need to search for bulleted paragraphs quite a bit, one solution for future documents is to not use the Bullets tool to create these formats. Instead, define a style for your bulleted paragraphs, and use the style to do your formatting. Then you'll be able to search for the style—which is quite easy in Find and Replace—and find your bulleted paragraphs every time.
WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (8259) applies to Microsoft Word 2007, 2010, and 2013. You can find a version of this tip for the older menu interface of Word here: Finding Formatted Bulleted Paragraphs.
Create Custom Apps with VBA! Discover how to extend the capabilities of Office 2013 (Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, and Access) with VBA programming, using it for writing macros, automating Office applications, and creating custom applications. Check out Mastering VBA for Office 2013 today!
If you know the secret, you can use actual words as "bullets" in a bulleted list. The built-in bulleted lists in Word aren't ...Discover More
Getting bulleted lists to look just right can be challenging, particularly if you are using the Bullet tool on the Home tab ...Discover More
When you apply bullet formatting to paragraphs, Word allows you to choose from a variety of different bullets. If you want, ...Discover More
FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in WordTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."
Got a version of Word that uses the ribbon interface (Word 2007 or later)? This site is for you! If you use an earlier version of Word, visit our WordTips site focusing on the menu interface.