Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Word versions: 2007, 2010, 2013, and 2016. 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: Initiating a New Search.

Initiating a New Search

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated November 28, 2015)

2

There are times when it is possible to really muck things up when searching for information. This usually happens when you have been searching for text and formatting, and you now want to search for something new. If you don't remember to reset all the search variables, you might never find what you are searching for. To overcome this problem if you are using Word 2007, display the Find tab of the Find and Replace dialog box (press Ctrl+F) and check the following:

  • Did you clear the formatting? If the No Formatting button is available, then you should click on it.
  • Did you clear the text in the Find What box? If not, do so—or at least replace it with text for which you want to search. Remember that there may be a space or some other non-printing character in the field. It is best to highlight the field and press the Del key.

If you are using Word 2010 or a later version of Word, then how you handle searching is a bit different. Even so, you should check the same two things. The way you get to these options is to explicitly display the Find and Replace dialog box. There are two ways to do this:

  • Display the Home tab of the ribbon, click the down-arrow next to the Find tool, then choose Advanced Find.
  • Press Ctrl+F to display the Navigation pane. At the right side of the box where you enter what you want to find, click the down-arrow and choose Advanced Find.

If you still have problems finding what you want, the quickest solution is to exit Word, start the program again, reload the document, and search again.

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (9926) applies to Microsoft Word 2007, 2010, 2013, and 2016. You can find a version of this tip for the older menu interface of Word here: Initiating a New Search.

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

Quickly Transposing Cells

If you want to turn a range of cells by 90 degrees within a worksheet, you need to understand how Excel can handle the ...

Discover More

Program Opens without the Desired Document

Double-click a document link in the recent documents list maintained by Windows, and you may be surprised if Word doesn't ...

Discover More

Automatically Opening a Document at a Specific Zoom Setting

Do you prefer to have your documents open at a specific zoom magnification? You can get whatever magnification you desire ...

Discover More

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!

More WordTips (ribbon)

Selectively Find and Replace Page Borders

Using Find and Replace you can both find and replace graphics in your document. Replacing graphics selectively is a bit ...

Discover More

Replacing Highlighted Words

The Find and Replace capabilities of Word are quite powerful. Knowing how to find and replace highlighted text can be a ...

Discover More

Replacing Formatting Functions as a Toggle

Sarra is having a problem getting Find and Replace to behave properly when replacing italic-formatted text. This tip ...

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 + 6?

2015-12-01 18:12:42

Rick G.

In Word 2010 & above, to get to the "Advanced Find" box without the mouse (& without the Navigation pane), you can press Ctrl+H (instead of Ctrl+F).
That puts on the Replace tab and you can do a Find right from there.
Or, if you prefer, you can then press Alt+D to go to the Find tab.

Either way you may want to click on the
[More >>] button to see what Find options are selected. (To do that without the mouse you can press Tab twice & press Enter.)


2015-11-28 04:43:48

Martin Payne

I find the following simple macro on the QAT extremely useful:

Sub ClearFandR()
Selection.Find.ClearFormatting
Selection.Find.Replacement.ClearFormatting
With Selection.Find
.Text = ""
.Replacement.Text = ""
.Forward = True
.Wrap = wdFindAsk
.Format = False
.MatchCase = False
.MatchWholeWord = False
.MatchAllWordForms = False
.MatchSoundsLike = False
.MatchWildcards = False
End With
End Sub


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.