Using wildcards to find and replace text (97/98/2000/2002)


Most of us are quite familiar with Word's Find And Replace utility, which enables you to search your document for each occurrence of a particular text string and, if desired, replace it with another. Most find-and-replace operations are fairly straightforward. However, you may at some point find yourself faced with the seemingly complex task of searching for variable text strings. For instance, you might want to find all words that begin with "corp" but end with anything. You can easily perform complex variable string searches and replacements like this using wildcards. To do so, choose Edit | Find or Edit | Replace, as necessary, from the menu bar. As an alternative, you can simply press [Ctrl]F or [Ctrl]H, respectively ([command]F or [command]H on the Mac). In the Find And Replace dialog box, click More, and then select the Use Wildcards check box. Then, in the Find What and Replace With text boxes, construct your search using any of Word's wildcards. For our example, we'd type <(corp) to find all words beginning with "corp." Our search would return words like "corporal," "corporate" and "corporation." You can view a comprehensive listing of Word's available wildcards by choosing Help | Microsoft Word Help from the menu bar and searching for the term "wildcards."

Created Date: 12/06/2001  Last Reviewed: 12/06/2001  Rev. Date: