Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Word versions: 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, and Word in Microsoft 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

Written by Allen Wyatt (last updated April 4, 2020)
This tip applies to Word 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, and Word in Microsoft 365


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 Microsoft 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. ...

MORE FROM ALLEN

Don't Allow Empty Cells

Data Validation is a great way to limit what a user can enter into a worksheet cell. It may not stop a cell from being ...

Discover More

Forcing Manual Calculation For a Workbook

If you have a large, complex workbook, you may want to make sure that it is always calculated manually instead of ...

Discover More

Quick and Dirty Paragraph Count

Need to know how many paragraphs are in a document? You can use Word's Find and Replace feature to get a count quickly.

Discover More

Learning Made Easy! Quickly teach yourself how to format, publish, and share your content using Word 2013. With Step by Step, you set the pace, building and practicing the skills you need, just when you need them! Check out Microsoft Word 2013 Step by Step today!

More WordTips (ribbon)

Finding Text Not Using a Particular Font

Word makes it easy to find text that uses a particular font or font characteristics. What it doesn't do is make it easy ...

Discover More

Searching for Borders

Want to find all the paragraphs in your document that have borders applied to them? The regular Find and Replace tool ...

Discover More

Searching for Formatting

When searching for text, Word can pay attention to more than just the characters in the text. It can also pay attention ...

Discover More
Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in WordTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

View most recent newsletter.

Comments

If you would like to add an image to your comment (not an avatar, but an image to help in making the point of your comment), include the characters [{fig}] (all 7 characters, in the sequence shown) in your comment text. You’ll be prompted to upload your image when you submit the comment. Maximum image size is 6Mpixels. Images larger than 600px wide or 1000px tall will be reduced. Up to three images may be included in a comment. All images are subject to review. Commenting privileges may be curtailed if inappropriate images are posted.

What is five more than 6?

There are currently no comments for this tip. (Be the first to leave your comment—just use the simple form above!)


This Site

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.

Videos
Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in WordTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

(Your e-mail address is not shared with anyone, ever.)

View the most recent newsletter.