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 August 9, 2014)
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.
Create Custom Apps with VBA! Discover how to extend the capabilities of Office 2013 (Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, and Access) with VBA programming, using it for writing macros, automating Office applications, and creating custom applications. Check out Mastering VBA for Office 2013 today!
Need to find all the instances of a particular word and change the formatting of those instances? It's easy to do using the ...Discover More
When working with documents (particularly those prepared by others) it is not unusual to need to count words that possess ...Discover More
Word has a powerful Find and Replace capability, but sometimes it can be tricky to figure out exactly how to use it. Here are ...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.