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: Automatically Formatting Text within Quotes.
by Allen Wyatt
(last updated December 7, 2016)
Sandy asked how to find all text between quotation marks and format it to be bold. The solution needs to be able to handle multiple words between the quote marks—entire phrases that need to be bold. This is an interesting question, and there are several ways that it can be approached.
One approach is to use Word's powerful Find and Replace feature to do just what you need. Follow these steps:
Figure 1. The Replace tab of the Find and Replace dialog box.
Notice that when Word is done with this search and replace, it will have bolded not only the text within the quotes, but the quotes themselves. If you want to change the quotes back to normal, you can do another wildcard search, this time looking for simply ["|"|"] (step 2, with the last two quotes being opening and closing smart quotes) and replacing it with Not Bold formatting (step 5).
It is interesting to note that you must search for ["|"]*["|"] and not simply for "*". The reason for this is quite simple. If you are getting your documents (the ones you are formatting) from someone else, you don't know right off the bat if they used smart quotes, regular quotes, or a combination of both. By using the brackets surrounding the two types of quotes on both sides of a vertical bar, you are telling Word to match with either type of opening or closing quote. When you have Use Wildcards selected, Word discriminates between regular and smart quotes. (It doesn't discriminate if you are using Search and Replace without wildcards turned on.)
If you need to do quite a bit of formatting of information between quotes in this manner, the best bet is to create a macro that you can assign to a shortcut key or to the Quick Access Toolbar. Perhaps the easiest way is to simply use the macro recorder to record the above steps. If you prefer, you can utilize the following macro to do the trick:
Sub BoldBetweenQuotes() ' base for a quotes finding macro Dim blnSearchAgain As Boolean ' move to start of doc Selection.HomeKey Unit:=wdStory ' start of loop Do ' set up find of first of quote pair With Selection.Find .ClearFormatting .Text = Chr(34) .Replacement.Text = "" .Forward = True .Wrap = wdFindStop .Execute End With If Selection.Find.Found Then Selection.MoveRight Unit:=wdCharacter, Count:=1 ' switch on selection extend mode Selection.Extend ' find second quote of this pair Selection.Find.Execute If Selection.Find.Found Then Selection.MoveLeft Unit:=wdCharacter, Count:=1 ' make it bold Selection.Font.Bold = True Selection.Collapse Direction:=wdCollapseEnd Selection.MoveRight Unit:=wdCharacter, Count:=1 blnSearchAgain = True Else blnSearchAgain = False End If Else blnSearchAgain = False End If Loop While blnSearchAgain End Sub
WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (8436) applies to Microsoft Word 2007, 2010, and 2013. You can find a version of this tip for the older menu interface of Word here: Automatically Formatting Text within Quotes.
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