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: Selective Formatting using Find and Replace.

Selective Formatting using Find and Replace

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated January 2, 2016)

Andy had a document that used the phrase "n-day" quite a bit, and he wanted the "n" to be in italics but the rest of the phrase in regular type. Faced with the task of making the desired formatting change many times over, Andy searched around for a solution using Word's Find and Replace tool.

Andy could search for "n-day" with no problem. However, there was a problem when trying to change just the "n" to italics because Find and Replace only applies formatting changes to the entire Replace With text, not just selected characters.

The solution was to do a two-pass Find and Replace. In the first pass, Andy changed the entire "n-day" phrase to italics. On the second pass he searched for "-day" (without the "n") and replaced it with a non-italics version. The result was just what he wanted, with only the single character in italics.

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (10777) 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: Selective Formatting using Find and Replace.

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

Creating a Command List

Want a list of all the commands available in Word? You can get one easily by following these steps.

Discover More

Changing Built-in Word Commands

Want to replace Word's internal commands with your own macros? It's easy to do if you know the key discussed in this tip.

Discover More

Using Seek In a Macro

When processing non-document text files in a macro, you have a wide range of commands available for your use. One of those is ...

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)

Adding Vertical Lines at the Sides of a Word

Vertical lines are even easier to add around a word than are horizontal lines. There are a variety of methods you can use to ...

Discover More

Automatic Blank Pages at the End of a Section

If you want to have a blank page at the end of a document section, you can insert one manually or you can use the technique ...

Discover More

Avoiding a Section Break Booby Trap

Section breaks got your document formatting all messed up? It could be because of the way you added the section breaks in the ...

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 for this tip:

There are currently no comments for this tip. (Be the first to leave your comment—just use the simple form above!)

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.

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.

Links and Sharing
Share