Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Word versions: 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, Word in Microsoft 365, and 2021. 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 Text With a Certain Format.

Searching for Text with a Certain Format

Written by Allen Wyatt (last updated September 3, 2022)
This tip applies to Word 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, Word in Microsoft 365, and 2021


Word has a power search capability that you can use to search not only for text, but also for any formatting you have applied. For instance, you can search for specific character formats applied to your text by following these steps:

  1. If you are using Word 2007 press Ctrl+F. If you are using Word 2010 or a later version, display the Home tab of the ribbon, click the down-arrow next to the Find tool in the Editing group and click Advanced Find. Word displays the Find tab of the Find and Replace dialog box.
  2. Click on the More button if it is available. Word displays an expanded version of the Find and Replace dialog box. (See Figure 1.)
  3. Figure 1. The Find tab of the Find and Replace dialog box.

  4. Delete anything in the Find What box. Click on the No Formatting button if it is available.
  5. Click on the Format button and then choose Font. Word displays the Find Font dialog box. Notice that all the character attributes (Superscript, Subscript, and so on) in the Effects area are shaded, meaning they are filled in. This means these attributes do not matter; they are ignored by Word when searching. (See Figure 2.)
  6. Figure 2. The Find Font dialog box.

  7. Select the character attributes you want the matched text to have. Make sure the check box beside the attribute is selected. It should have a check mark in it.
  8. Click on OK.
  9. Click on Find Next.

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (10762) applies to Microsoft Word 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, Word in Microsoft 365, and 2021. You can find a version of this tip for the older menu interface of Word here: Searching for Text With a Certain Format.

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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