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: Replacing a Colon in a Sequence.
by Allen Wyatt
(last updated February 26, 2018)
Anthony wants to use Find and Replace to change a right parenthesis followed by a colon and a digit to a right parenthesis followed by a comma and the letters pp. For instance, "):27" should be changed to "), pp. 27".
One might think that you could simply search for a right parenthesis followed by a colon and replace it with "), pp. ", but that won't work. Actually, it will work, but it might work too well—there could be instances where you have a grammatically correct right parenthesis followed by a colon that you don't want replaced. As mentioned, you only want to replace instances where the colon is followed by a page number.
The best way to do this is through the use of a wildcard search. Follow these steps:
Step 4 is the important part; it defines what you want Word to find. In this case you want to find a right parenthesis, indicated by \), followed by a colon and anywhere from 1 to 3 digits. Note that in the Find What pattern there are parentheses around two separate groups of items: around the right parenthesis and colon and around the digits. The second of these groupings (the digits) are referenced in the Replace With pattern with the \2 element.
WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (13204) applies to Microsoft Word 2007, 2010, and 2013. You can find a version of this tip for the older menu interface of Word here: Replacing a Colon in a Sequence.
The First and Last Word on Word! Bestselling For Dummies author Dan Gookin puts his usual fun and friendly candor back to work to show you how to navigate Word 2013. Spend more time working and less time trying to figure it all out! Check out Word 2013 For Dummies today!
Need to know how many times a particular word appears in a document? Here's a handy trick that will tell you the count, ...Discover More
The Find and Replace tool built into Word is quite powerful. It cannot do everything, however, as there are just some ...Discover More
Some replacement tasks can seem daunting, but Word provides some great tools for making just about any replacement you ...Discover More
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.