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: Searching for White Space.
by Allen Wyatt
(last updated January 30, 2016)
Word allows you to search not just for text, but also for special characters that normally do not print. Word even provides a shorthand character to search for white space. White space is any combination of spaces, tabs, paragraph marks, newline characters, and breaks. In short, it is most non-printing characters.
To search for white space, follow these steps if you are using Word 2007:
Figure 1. The Find tab of the Find and Replace dialog box.
Word then finds the first occurrence of white space. Remember that this includes any non-printing characters.
The searching process is slightly different for Word 2010 and later versions. If you are using one of those versions of the program, follow these steps, instead:
That's it; Word should show the matches in the Navigation pane and highlight them in the document. If you want to get more detailed in your search, you can display the traditional Find and Replace dialog box by clicking the down-arrow at the right side of where you entered your search text and then choosing Advanced Find from the resulting choices.
WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (10732) 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: Searching for White Space.
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