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 Special Hyphens.

Searching for Special Hyphens

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated August 8, 2020)

Word allows you to search not just for text, but also for special characters that normally do not print. Two such characters are special types of hyphens used by Word. You can search either for optional hyphens (these are typically inserted by the Hyphenation tool) or for non-breaking hyphens. To search for these characters, follow these steps if you are using Word 2007:

  1. Press Ctrl+F. Word displays the Find tab of the Find and Replace dialog box.
  2. In the Find What box, enter the text for which you want to search. To search for an optional hyphen, enter ^-; to search for a non-breaking hyphen, enter ^~ (a tilde character). Optionally, you can specify the actual character by clicking on the Special button and selecting the type of hyphen from the list of special characters. (You may need to click on the More button before you can see the Special button.)
  3. Set other searching parameters, as desired.
  4. Click on Find Next.

If you are using Word 2010 or a later version, pressing Ctrl+F brings up the Navigation pane at the left side of the screen. You can still type any of the special character codes (step 2) into the Navigation pane and Word will highlight their location just fine in 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 (9356) 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 Special Hyphens.

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

Floating Footer

Need some specific text to appear just below the end of the text on the last page of your document? You can accomplish ...

Discover More

Starting in Safe Mode

By using a command-line switch, Excel can be started in safe mode. This means that the program is loaded with bare-bones ...

Discover More

Adding Dashes between Letters

When processing some text data, you may need to perform some esoteric function, such as adding dashes between letters. ...

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)

Searching for Breaks

Word allows you to insert different types of breaks in your text that help control how your document is paginated. If you ...

Discover More

Searching for White Space

White space permeates our documents and sometimes you'll need to search for that white space. Word makes it easy to ...

Discover More

Ignoring Accented Characters in Searches

When writing in non-English languages, there can be many variations of accented characters that are used in a word. You ...

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}] 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 six more than 2?

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.

Newest Tips
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.