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.
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:
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.
Comprehensive VBA Guide Visual Basic for Applications (VBA) is the language used for writing macros in all Office programs. This complete guide shows both professionals and novices how to master VBA in order to customize the entire Office suite for their needs. Check out Mastering VBA for Office 2010 today!
Need to get down to the "character level" when searching for information in a document? Word allows you to search for any ...Discover More
When writing in non-English languages, there can be many variations of accented characters that are used in a word. You ...Discover More
Word allows you to insert different types of breaks in your text that help control how your document is paginated. If you ...Discover More
FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in WordTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."
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.