Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Word versions: 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, and Word in Office 365. 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: Searching for Character Formatting.

Searching for Character Formatting

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated April 4, 2020)

Word has a very powerful search capability that allows you to find not just text but the formats of text as well. To search for character formatting, follow these steps:

  1. Press Ctrl+F. Word displays the Find tab of the Find and Replace dialog box.
  2. If you are using Word 2010 or a later version of the program, Ctrl+F doesn't work as it used to in Word 2007. Instead, press Ctrl+H. Word displays the Replace tab of the Find and Replace dialog box. Click the Find tab.
  3. Make sure the Find What box is empty.
  4. Click on the More button. The Find and Replace dialog box is enlarged.
  5. Click on the No Formatting button, if it is available.
  6. Click on Format, then choose the Font option. Word displays the Find Font dialog box. (See Figure 1.)
  7. Figure 1. The Find Font dialog box.

  8. Select the character attributes for which you want to search. If a check box is selected, the text matched must have the corresponding attribute. If the check box is empty, then the text won't have that attribute. A shaded box (one that has a small black square in it) means the attribute doesn't matter.
  9. Click on OK.
  10. Click on Find Next.

At this point Word locates the first instance of text that matches whatever attributes you specified in step 7. You can continue clicking Find Next in the Find Font dialog box, or you can close the dialog box and return to editing your document.

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (8841) applies to Microsoft Word 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, and Word in Office 365. You can find a version of this tip for the older menu interface of Word here: Searching for Character Formatting.

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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