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: Ignoring Accented Characters in Searches.

Ignoring Accented Characters in Searches

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated September 5, 2015)

1

Sheila has many files of French names. Since use of accents varies on the names, she would like to be able to search for names without having to include the accents. She wonders if Word can perform "accent insensitive" searches.

The short answer is no, it cannot. The reason is simple: Word searches for characters, and all the accented characters are individual and distinct characters.

The workaround, of course, is to use ^? (any character) or ^$ (any letter) in the place where the various accented characters may appear in your names. If you choose to do wildcard searches, you can get even more specific in the accented characters you want to include or not include in your searching.

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (10627) applies to Microsoft Word 2007, 2010, and 2013. You can find a version of this tip for the older menu interface of Word here: Ignoring Accented Characters in Searches.

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

Searching for Special Characters

When using the Find and Replace feature of Word, you can search for more than plain text. You can also search for ...

Discover More

Removing a Hyperlink

Hyperlinks allow you to extend the reach of your document, providing pathways to outside resources that readers may find ...

Discover More

Identifying Digit-Only Part Numbers Excluding Special Characters

When working with data in Excel, you often need to determine if that data meets criteria that you specify. This tip ...

Discover More

Do More in Less Time! Are you ready to harness the full power of Word 2013 to create professional documents? In this comprehensive guide you'll learn the skills and techniques for efficiently building the documents you need for your professional and your personal life. Check out Word 2013 In Depth 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

Searching for Multi-Byte Hex Codes

Need to find a character for which you only know the hex code? There are a few ways you can search for the information, ...

Discover More

Searching for Special Hyphens

Word allows you to use a couple of different types of hyphens in your document, each with a different purpose. If 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 0 + 1?

2015-09-07 00:18:57

ACorfield

Quite elaborate search/reeplace can be done using regular-expression type searches.

Microsoft MVP Graham Mayor has a good and (possibly over-) detailed tutorial here http://www.gmayor.com/replace_using_wildcards.htm

Your usage with French will not need to be so elaborate with so few diacritics.

Happy hunting!


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.