by Allen Wyatt
(last updated August 2, 2014)
When Deena is using Find and Replace, Word highlights the found word in gray and she often has a hard time locating it in the text, especially if the finding has skipped far ahead of the last highlighted word. Deena would like to have a bright-colored highlight (or some other means) that is easily located and wonders if that is possible.
Exactly how Word highlights "found text" varies based on a number of factors. First, if you are using the regular Find option, when you press Ctrl+F, Word displays the Navigation pane at the left of the document and allows you to type in something you want to find in the document. Doing so causes Word to highlight all occurrences of that text in your document. That text is highlighted in yellow.
If, however, you are using the advanced Find option, then not all instances are highlighted. When you step through the instances of the found text, they are highlighted in a blue or some other lighter color that is consistent with whatever color theme you have selected for your system. (More on that in a moment.) You can cause Word to use the higher-contrast yellow for what it finds by instructing it to highlight whatever you are searching for. Follow these steps:
Figure 1. The Find tab of the Find and Replace dialog box.
At this point, all instances of the text you want are highlighted in the document and they are easy to see because of the yellow highlighting. You can navigate easily through the document and the highlighting remains until you do something to edit the text in any way.
If you want to change the actual color used to highlight selected items (like found text), then you'll need to make a change to the color theme used by Windows. (This is not a change in Word, but a change in Windows itself.) By making the change, you can modify the color used to mark found text when stepping through instances using the advanced Find option; this won't affect the color used by a simple Find operation or when you rely on Reading Highlight.
If you want to change the appropriate color in Windows 7, you can follow these steps:
Figure 2. The Window Color and Appearance dialog box.
If you are using Vista, follow these steps instead:
If you are using Windows 8 your options for setting the color are quite a bit more limited. In fact, you'll need to change to a funky, clunky high-contrast color theme in order to change the selection color. Follow these steps:
Figure 3. The Color and Appearance settings.
Figure 4. The Color dialog box.
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