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)

3

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

Clearing All Tab Stops

Tab stops allow you to modify the horizontal position at which text is positioned on a line. If you want to get rid of all ...

Discover More

Moving and Copying Graphics Objects

Excel doesn't just work with numbers and text. You can also add graphics objects to your worksheets, and then use Excel's ...

Discover More

Understanding the Guest Account

If lots of people may need temporary access to your computer, then you may want to set up the Guest user account. Before ...

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)

Understanding Font Styles

Fonts, by default, come with one or more styles that define variations of how that font is displayed in your document. ...

Discover More

Aligning Plus/Minus Symbols

Scientific writing often involves the use of special symbols, such as the plus/minus symbol. If you want to align these ...

Discover More

Using the Highlighter

Need to draw attention to some text? Consider using the Highlight tool, which functions just like the highlighter pens 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 for this tip:

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. 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 9 - 7?

2016-01-08 17:42:26

Peter Buxton

If you use the 'Search for n- and replace with n- (italic font)' alternative suggested, be careful with hyphenated compound words, like 'non-italics' above.


2016-01-03 20:12:06

Paul Kinnecom

Easier still:

Search for n- and replace with n- (italic font).


2016-01-02 10:35:11

Bill

This is a very useful tip.

Thank you for this idea.

Bill


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.

Links and Sharing