Skip to content

Simul Blog

How to use Wildcards to do Advanced Find and Replace in Microsoft Word

Wildcards or Wild Characters are symbols that represent one or more letter, used to extend your word search beyond just the word itself.

Question Mark Png Free Image , Transparent Cartoon, Free Cliparts &  Silhouettes - NetClipart

You can use Wildcards to search for words that start with and end with a particular letter or all that start with a certain series of letters such as ‘Doc*’. They can also be used to search for a range of words, there really is a wildcard to help you in any search, for a full breakdown of the most commonly used wildcards and how to use them, keep reading.

Commonly Used Wildcards

% Percent as a Wildcard

The percent symbol is used to match any character.

* Asterisk as a Wildcard

The Asterisk symbol is used to match any one or more character. For example, “care*” will match with anything beginning with ‘the’ in your document, such as ‘careful’, ‘career’, ‘caregiving’ will all match.

? Question Mark as a Wildcard

The Question mark symbol will match any single character. For example ‘ca?e” will match with all of the above words, plus ‘cake’ and ‘cape’.

In some versions of Microsoft Windows and macOS, you can use multiple question marks to symbol more than one missing letter. For example ‘c??e’, this search would pull all of the above words, plus words such as ‘core’ and ‘cube’ and ‘cue’ even though it is not four letters.

[ ] Open/close brackets as a Wildcard

The Unix shells are used to match a range of words or letters. For example, [a-z] will match with any letters from a – z, leaving any numbers out of the match.

Using Wildcards to Find and Replace in Microsoft Word

  1. Open Word
  2. Select View
  3. Click Navigation Pane
  1. Within the Navigation Pane, click the magnifying glass
  1. Click Settings
  2. Select Advanced Settings
  1. Tick the Use wildcards box
  1. Choose the wildcard character
  2. Type additional text in the Find box
  3. Type replacement word in the Replace box
  4. Press Replace All

You have now successfully used wildcards in an advanced find and replace.

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.

Free Clipart Frustrated Person At Computer | Free Images at Clker.com -  vector clip art online, royalty free & public domain

Before you scroll any further we’d like to introduce you to the solution you have been searching for, meet Simul Docs.

Simul Docs was built to make your life easier.

To make working together on a Word Document seamless and pain free.

Simul Docs manages version control for you, version control means they will not only save each new document automatically once an edit is made (no minor feat, with this feature alone you’ll never accidentally save over another author’s document again) but Simul gives each document a version number, relevant to when it was last edited.

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

To add a cherry on top of this already sweet tool, Simul also puts the author’s name next to the saved document so you know at a glance when it was saved, how old it is AND who created it. It sounds like a lot but for Simul its a breeze and its what they love doing – making your collaborating life a whole lot easier.

Now without sounding too smug, Simul also has a whole heap of other cool features that might help your team collaborate better.

Think tracked changes, they are automatically turned on, every single new change is tracked and saved. You quite literally will never miss an edit again. Amazing!

Then Simul makes merging as easy as the click of a button.

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.

Get Started For Free

It's free to collaborate on 1 document, and paid plans start at just $15 per month

Get a free demo

Get an overview of how Simul works from one of our friendly team members