Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Word versions: 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, and Word in Office 365. 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 Non-Black Text.

Searching for Non-Black Text

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated June 16, 2018)

1

When searching for text in a document, it is easy to search for formats such as "bold" or "italic." You can also search for "not bold" and "not italic." You can search for text of a specific color, but Word does not allow you to search for text other than a specific color. For instance, you cannot search for text that is "not black."

If you need to search for text that is not black, then the best way to do so is with a macro. Consider the following macro, which prompts you for your search text, and then looks for the first non-black instance of that text.

Sub FindNotBlack()
    With Selection.Find
        .ClearFormatting
        .Text = InputBox(prompt:="Enter the search text.", _
          Title:="Find Nonblack Text")
        Do While .Execute
            With Selection.Font
                If (.Color <> wdColorAutomatic) And _
                  (.Color <> wdColorBlack) Then
                    MsgBox "Found"
                    Exit Sub
                End If
            End With
        Loop
    End With
End Sub

Note that the macro checks to see if the color of the matched text is different from black (wdColorBlack) and from the automatic color (wdColorAutomatic). This is because the automatic color is black on most systems.

Note:

If you would like to know how to use the macros described on this page (or on any other page on the WordTips sites), I've prepared a special page that includes helpful information. Click here to open that special page in a new browser tab.

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (11644) applies to Microsoft Word 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, and Word in Office 365. You can find a version of this tip for the older menu interface of Word here: Searching for Non-Black Text.

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

Using a Progress Indicator in Macros

A few tips on adding a progress indicator that runs during long macro calculations.

Discover More

Working with Minutes

For many Excel users—particularly beginners—working with elapsed time can be bewildering. This tip explains ...

Discover More

Specifying the Y Value in X of Y Page Numbering

Page numbers in Excel headers and footers have always been a source of frustration for users. This tip recounts one ...

Discover More

Learning Made Easy! Quickly teach yourself how to format, publish, and share your content using Word 2013. With Step by Step, you set the pace, building and practicing the skills you need, just when you need them! Check out Microsoft Word 2013 Step by Step today!

More WordTips (ribbon)

Searching for Character Formatting

Need to look for a piece of text possessing a particular formatting attribute? Here's the skinny on how this is accomplished.

Discover More

Searching for Text with a Certain Format

The Find and Replace tool in Word is very powerful. You can use it to search not only for text but for the formatting ...

Discover More

Searching for Periods Not Followed by a Space

Most periods should be followed by at least one space. What if you think there may be some errors in how your post-period ...

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

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. Maximum image size is 6Mpixels. 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 three more than 5?

2018-10-11 11:37:16

Cooper

Hello Allen, this is a very helpful article! However, I'm curious to know how to run a continuous search for a specific color. I tried using your code as a test and replacing "wdcolorautomatic" and "wdcolorblack" with my RGB scale color (B=255) but to no success. I also want to avoid bolded text. Any tips for expanding this macro?


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.