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How to Find and Replace Formatting in Microsoft Word documents

Using the Find and Replace tool in Microsoft work is easy, when you are just replacing one word with another (post on how to do so here).

Replacing formatting in Word is one of the trickiest things you’ll come across. You may have been asked to change all of the underlined words to italics, or remove all strikethroughs, by doing so you risk scrambling all of your documents formatting at once.

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Before you start scrolling through your Word Document and manually updating the formatting, the Find and Replace tool is there to make this easier, and it does. You just need to follow the right steps and be clear on exactly what you are wanting to change.

In this post, we will show you how to use the Find and Replace tool to update fonts, for example from italic to underlined and how to update paragraphs, for example from indented paragraphs to aligned left.

Using Find and Replace to update Character formatting

  1. Open Word
  2. Click Edit
  3. Press Find in the drop-down
  1. Click Replace…
  1. Type the word (without formatting) in the Find Box.
    1. We are using the word Missing in Bold as our example here
  1. Click the Advanced Options dropdown
  2. Press Advanced Find & Replace
  1. Under the Advanced Options find and click Font, to search for a word in a specific font. E.g Bold, Italic, Strikethrough
  1. Within the Font pop-up box, select the font of the words you want to replace. Our example here is Bold.
  1. Press OK
  2. The Advanced Options pop up box will now re-appear with Bold font selected. Type the replacement word in the Replace with Box
  1. Press Replace All

You have now successfully replaced your word, in the desired format only with another word, or an alternative format.

Using Find and Replace to update Paragraphs and Alignment

  1. Open Word
  2. Click Edit
  3. Press Find in the drop-down
  1. Click Replace…
  1. Click the Advanced Options dropdown
  2. Press Advanced Find & Replace
  1. Under the Advanced Options find and click the Format tab. In this example, we are updating the paragraphing in our document
  1. The Find Paragraph pop up window will open. In this window, select the paragraphing or spacing you wish to find.
    1. In this example, we are looking to find all 5.67ch inside and outside indentation.
  1. Press OK
  2. Press Replace
  3. Select the paragraph or spacing you wish to replace the selected paragraphing with.
    1. In this example, we are wanting to take the indentation back to 0 inside and 0 outside.
  1. Press OK
confirmed replacement paragraph indentation
  1. Press Replace All

You have now successfully updated the paragraphing, alignment or indentation throughout your Microsoft Word Document.

Searching for a better way to work together in Microsoft Word Documents?

When working with a number of people in the same Word document you can quickly find yourself siphoning through old versions to compute who made what changes where and when.

Unless you each have a dedicated ‘edit’ day or time slot, you may also end up accidentally working on the same Word document, at the same time. Leaving you with two versions of the same file and the torturous task of merging them together without wasting 2 hours of precious billable hours.

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This makes it easy to see which document is the most recent file and when it was last edited.

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If two team members are working simultaneously on the document, Simul has your back. Simul will allow the changes to be made, save each version as a new document and let you know there are two new updates for your review. Upon review, you can accept or decline each author’s changes and press ‘merge’. Done. Documents merged!

Simul really does make collaborating easy and it’s a tool that will save you time and frustration.

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