Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Word versions: 2007 and 2010. 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: Using Search Text in the Replacement.

Using Search Text in the Replacement

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated October 12, 2015)


Word has a very powerful search-and-replace function. There may be times when you want to simply add something to your document in a number of different locations. You can use the search-and-replace feature to help you. For instance, you may want to replace all occurrences of Betty Boop with Ms. Betty Boop, Esq. To do this, follow these steps:

  1. Press Ctrl+H. Word displays the Replace tab of the Find and Replace dialog box. (See Figure 1.)
  2. Figure 1. The Replace tab of the Find and Replace dialog box.

  3. In the Find What box, enter Betty Boop (what you want to search for).
  4. In the Replace With box, enter Ms. ^&, Esq. (Word will use the text in the Find What box—what you entered in step 2—in place of the ^& characters.)
  5. Click on Find Next.
  6. Make replacements as desired.

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (12393) applies to Microsoft Word 2007 and 2010. You can find a version of this tip for the older menu interface of Word here: Using Search Text in the Replacement.

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 5 + 9?

2015-10-12 13:10:02

Jean A. Rudolph

Thank you SO very much for this service! I look forward to your daily tips! MOST useful and MOST understandable of any computer helps I've encountered!

2013-01-02 12:42:29

Surendera M. Bhanot

Thanks Mr. Peter Johnson and Happy New Year. I will try your suggestions and revert for further assistance. Thanks again

2013-01-02 04:56:57

Peter Johnson

Hi Surendera

A comprehensive list would be quite long and not really necessary because Word will tell you when you need them. Here is how:

1) Open the Find & Replace Dialogue box (Advanced Find in Word 2010)
2) If there is a button labelled "More" in the bottom left click on it to display all the options.
3) The second button from then bottom left says "Special", click on it.

This gives you a list of the special characters that can be used in either the find or the replace box. Choose what you want and the two character sequence is added to the find (or replace) string. You will soon learn the ones you use all the time.

If you want to find out more try starting with Dave Rado’s article "Finding and replacing non-printing characters (such as paragraph marks) and text formatting"

Happy New Year!

2012-12-30 09:23:29

Surendera M. Bhanot

Very good tip.

Can you give a complete list of shortcut functions (like '^&") used in the find & replace option.

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