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.

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
                Exit For
            End If
    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.

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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What is 1 + 8?

2016-09-12 01:43:44


Can this be modified to work for numbered lists?

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