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: Keyboard Control of the Find and Replace Dialog Box.

Keyboard Control of the Find and Replace Dialog Box

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated December 19, 2015)

Cheri asked if there is a way to close the Find and Replace dialog box using the keyboard, or, better yet, a way to toggle between the document and the Find and Replace dialog box using the keyboard.

As with most commands in Word, there are keyboard commands you can use. Of course, pressing Ctrl+H displays the Replace tab of the Find and Replace dialog box. If you want to get rid of the dialog box, there are three ways you can do it. I find the easiest way is to simply press Esc. You can also press Ctrl+F4, or you can use Tab to select the Cancel button and then press Enter.

If you would rather toggle between the Find and Replace dialog box and your document, you can do so by pressing Ctrl+Tab. Once back in the document, you can scroll through the document or edit as necessary, while the dialog box is still there, grayed out. When you again press Ctrl+Tab to jump back to the dialog box, the find/replace operation will start from your new cursor location. Also, you will be returned to the exact cursor location in the dialog box that you were in when you toggled to the document.

It should be noted that when you use Ctrl+Tab to switch between the Find and Replace dialog box and your document, the dialog box remains firmly planted in view, hovering over your document. If you have a large monitor set to a high resolution (which means you can see more information on the screen at one time) then this isn't a big problem; the dialog box won't interfere with using the document. If you are not using a high resolution, however, the ever-present dialog box could be a nuisance. In this case, the only option you have is to dismiss the dialog box, as described earlier in this tip, and call it back up when needed by using Ctrl+H.

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (10250) 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: Keyboard Control of the Find and Replace Dialog Box.

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. ...

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