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: When Replace Doesn't Work.

When Replace Doesn't Work

Written by Allen Wyatt (last updated September 30, 2023)
This tip applies to Word 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, Word in Microsoft 365, and 2021


1

When you try to replace text in your document using Find and Replace, things may not always work as you would expect. If they don't, check these factors:

  • Have you made a selection of text? If so, the replace operation will work only within that selection.
  • Have you cleared the formatting? (Unless the formatting is necessary for what you are trying to do.)
  • Is Track Changes turned on? (Some functions using wildcards don't work as expected if Track Changes is on.)
  • Did you spell the Find What and Replace With text correctly?
  • Are there special characters in what you are looking for? (If so, you'll want to make sure you enter the special characters properly.)
  • Are the search modifiers (match case and whole word) selected properly?

If these factors are set properly and it still doesn't work properly, then you should exit Word and restart the program. You will then be able to perform the replace anew, with Word in a "fresh" condition.

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (11097) 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: When Replace Doesn't Work.

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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What is eight more than 2?

2024-04-20 19:45:38

Perry

Replace is greyed out. Closing and reopening the document does NOT make the Replace function work. What now?


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