Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Word versions: 2007, 2010, and 2013. 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: Adding Tags to Text.

Adding Tags to Text

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated February 26, 2017)

If you love working in HTML, you know that it is created by simply adding tags to regular text. Tags do nothing more than describe how a browser should display the text. HTML can be created by hand or automatically, by program. You can even use Word to create your HTML for you.

What if you don't want Word to do the HTML automatically, but you want to use Word's tools to help you in your HTML creation? For instance, you might want to search for italicized text within a document and then surround it with the HTML tags that signify the text should be displayed in italics. You can do this by following these steps:

  1. Press Ctrl+H. Word displays the Replace tab of the Find and Replace dialog box.
  2. Click on the More button, if it is available. (See Figure 1.)
  3. Figure 1. The Replace tab of the Find and Replace dialog box.

  4. With the insertion point in the Find What box, click the Format button and choose Font. Word displays the Find Font dialog box. (See Figure 2.)
  5. Figure 2. The Find Font dialog box.

  6. In the Font Style list, choose Italic.
  7. Click on OK to dismiss the Find Font dialog box.
  8. In the Replace With box, enter "<i>^&</i>" (without the quote marks). Both <i> and </i> are HTML tags for italics, and ^& is the special code for the Find What text. In other words, you want to replace what you find with what you found, but make sure it is surrounded by the HTML tags for italics.
  9. With the insertion point still in the Replace With box, click the Format button and choose Font to again display the Find Font dialog box.
  10. Scroll down in the Font Style list and choose Not Italic. You want to do this so that when the find and replace operation is done, not only have you added the proper HTML tags, but you are turning off the italics attribute of the found text. This is important so that if you later run the same find-and-replace operation on the same document, you don't get large numbers of nested HTML tags.
  11. Click on OK to dismiss the Find Font dialog box.
  12. Click on Replace All to process the entire document, or use the other buttons in the Find and Replace dialog box to step through the occurrences of italic text one at a time.

The same find and replace technique can be used to add other HTML tags, as desired. For instance, you could add the tags for bold text, <b> and </b> by searching for Bold in step 4, using the proper tags in step 6, and replacing with Not Bold in step 8.

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (12991) applies to Microsoft Word 2007, 2010, and 2013. You can find a version of this tip for the older menu interface of Word here: Adding Tags to 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. ...


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