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: Highlighting Duplicate Words.

Highlighting Duplicate Words

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated August 23, 2014)

Joe is an author and he has some ideas for using Word macros to help with his proofreading. One of the macros he wants to build is for finding duplicate words in sentences and paragraphs. He wants to exclude the common necessary words like "the," "a," etc. Joe would like to highlight the duplicate words in a document so he can examine their use and make appropriate changes.

How you go about this depends, really, on how you want to approach the task. For instance, if you want to simply look for duplicate words that are side-by-side, then Word should do that already for you; the grammar checker takes care of marking those duplicate words.

If you, instead, want to find excessive instances of a particular word, then you can use Find and Replace to highlight them. On the Find tab of the Find and Replace dialog box you can enter the word you want to highlight, click the Highlight All Items check box, and then click Find All. Word selects all instances of the Word and you can then use the Highlighter tool to highlight all of them.

Finally, if you want a macro that will step through each paragraph of the document (or each sentence of a document) and look for multiple instances of any given word, then that is a much more complex issue. Stepping through either paragraphs or sentences is not a huge problem; just use either the Paragraphs collection or the Sentences collection in the macro. The bigger problem is dealing with text variations. For instance, does the word "dog" match the word "dogs" or, even, the word "dogged." Without a firm understanding of what, exactly, you want to consider as "matching," your macro can get rather cumbersome.

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (13218) applies to Microsoft Word 2007, 2010, and 2013. You can find a version of this tip for the older menu interface of Word here: Highlighting Duplicate Words.

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. ...

MORE FROM ALLEN

Assigning a Macro to a Button in Your Text

One way you can access macros is through the use of a button, added directly into the text of your document. This is done ...

Discover More

Can't Copy Data between Workbooks

Edit a group of workbooks at the same time and you probably will find yourself trying to copy information from one of ...

Discover More

Editing a Template

Editing a template can be as easy as editing a regular Word document, provided you know where to find the templates. Here ...

Discover More

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!

More WordTips (ribbon)

Strip Trailing Spaces

If you get tired of documents that always seem to have extra spaces at the end of lines, here's a quick way to get rid of ...

Discover More

Using Manual Line Breaks with Justified Paragraphs

If you use justified paragraphs, you know that if you press Shift+Enter, it can lead to some odd spacing between words ...

Discover More

Different Layout for a Portion of a Page

Got a document layout that requires a portion of the page to be in one layout and another portion to be in a different ...

Discover More
Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in WordTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

View most recent newsletter.

Comments

If you would like to add an image to your comment (not an avatar, but an image to help in making the point of your comment), include the characters [{fig}] in your comment text. You’ll be prompted to upload your image when you submit the comment. Maximum image size is 6Mpixels. Images larger than 600px wide or 1000px tall will be reduced. Up to three images may be included in a comment. All images are subject to review. Commenting privileges may be curtailed if inappropriate images are posted.

What is 5 + 2?

There are currently no comments for this tip. (Be the first to leave your comment—just use the simple form above!)


This Site

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.

Newest Tips
Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in WordTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

(Your e-mail address is not shared with anyone, ever.)

View the most recent newsletter.