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: Searching for Special Hyphens.

Searching for Special Hyphens

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated November 1, 2014)

2

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 Word 2013, 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, and 2013. 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

Turning Off Automatic Captioning

Word can be configured so that it automatically adds captions to some of your design elements (tables, figures, etc.). Once ...

Discover More

Deriving an Absolute Value

Want to know the absolute value of a number? It's easy to derive in VBA by using the Abs function.

Discover More

Preventing Automatic Date Formatting Changes

Excel often changes the formatting of a cell based on how it parses what you are entering into that cell. This is ...

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)

Quicker Multiple Replace Operations

Need to replace a lot of the same characters very, very quickly? Here's a great way to do the replacement.

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 might ...

Discover More

Find and Replace in a Column or Row

Need to search for information in a table? Word allows you to easily limit your search to an entire column or row, as ...

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 8 - 2?

2014-11-03 15:18:43

Rick G.

Another option for a shortcut to doing Find "the old way" is to just use Ctrl+H which still brings up the old
"Find and Replace" dialog box, except it starts on the Replace tab instead of on the Find tab.
Then you can either:
1) Click the Find tab and proceed the familiar way.
OR
2) Just enter the string you want to find and click the Find Next button right on the Replace tab page.


2014-11-01 14:19:48

Aprile

To switch back to the old way of searching by Ctrl F:1.
Click File | Options | Customize Ribbon, or right-click on the ribbon and choose Customize Ribbon from the context menu.
2. Click the Keyboard Shortcuts: Customize button at the bottom left.
3. Select Home Tab from the Categories box at the top left.
4. Select EditFind from the Commands box at the top right.
5. You should now see which shortcut is assigned to that command in the Current Keys box, middle left. It should be empty, because the command has no shortcut.
6. Click in the Press New Shortcut Key box, in the middle right.
7. Press Ctrl+F together.
8. Click Assign.
9. Click Close.
10. Click OK on the Word Options dialog


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.