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: Mass Search and Replace.
by Allen Wyatt
(last updated April 4, 2019)
Over time it is very possible to collect a huge number of documents. At some point you may want to make the same change to each of the documents in the collection. For instance, you may need to change the company name within each document. Obviously you can open each document, make the change, and then save the document, but that process can quickly become tiring if you have hundreds or thousands of documents to process.
What to do? Consistent with the point that has been made in other issues of WordTips, anytime you have something that is mundane and tiresome to accomplish, you can often use a macro to handle the work for you. For instance, you could write a macro that would step through all the documents in a directory, load each in turn, search for and change the necessary text, and resave the document. This process is no different than the process you would follow manually, except that it is done under the control of the macro. This makes it much easier and faster.
The following is an example of a Word macro that could do the trick:
Public Sub MassReplace() Dim Directory As String Dim FType As String Dim FName As String Directory = "d:\temp" FType = "*.docx" ChDir Directory FName = Dir(FType) ' for each file you find, run this loop Do While FName <> "" ' open the file Documents.Open FileName:=FName ' search and replace the company name selection.Find.ClearFormatting selection.Find.Replacement.ClearFormatting With selection.Find .Text = "OldCompanyName" .MatchCase = True .Replacement.Text = "NewCompanyName" End With selection.Find.Execute Replace:=wdReplaceAll ' replace street address With selection.Find .Text = "OldStreetAddress" .Replacement.Text = "NewStreetAddress" End With selection.Find.Execute Replace:=wdReplaceAll ' replace the City, State, and Zip code With selection.Find .Text = "OldCityStateAndZip" .Replacement.Text = "NewCityStateAndZip" End With selection.Find.Execute Replace:=wdReplaceAll ' save and close the current document ActiveDocument.Close wdSaveChanges ' look for next matching file FName = Dir Loop End Sub
This macro is quite powerful, and it allows you to not just change a company name, but also your company's address. All you need to do is make changes to specify which directory and drive to use in your search, as well as what the old and new company information is.
If dealing with macros is a little beyond what you want to tackle, there are also a number of different commercial products available that will work with Word documents. Various subscribers have suggested the following programs:
WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (8477) applies to Microsoft Word 2007, 2010, and 2013. You can find a version of this tip for the older menu interface of Word here: Mass Search and Replace.
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!
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