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.
by Allen Wyatt
(last updated June 16, 2018)
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.
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.
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!
Need to look for a piece of text possessing a particular formatting attribute? Here's the skinny on how this is accomplished.Discover More
Word makes it easy to find text that uses a particular font or font characteristics. What it doesn't do is make it easy ...Discover More
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
FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in WordTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."
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.