Word 2010 Find and Replace Wildcard Reference

Search by using wildcards to find specific letters

You can use wildcards to search for text. For example, you can use the asterisk (*) wildcard to search for a string of characters (for example, “s*d” finds “sad” and “started”).

Use wildcards to find and replace text

  1. On the Home tab, in the Editing group, click the arrow next to Find, and then click Advanced Find.

Find command in the Editing group

  1. Select the Use wildcards check box.

If you don’t see the Use wildcards check box, click More.

  1. Do one of the following:
  2. If you want to replace the item, click the Replace tab, and then type what you want to use as a replacement in the Replace with box.
  3. Click Find Next, Find All, Replace, or Replace All.

To cancel a search in progress, press ESC.

Wildcards for items you want to find and replace

 Notes 

  • When the Use wildcards check box is selected, Word finds only the exact text that you specify. Notice that the Match case and Find whole words only check boxes are unavailable (dimmed) to indicate that these options are automatically turned on. You can’t turn off these options.
  • To search for a character that’s defined as a wildcard, type a backslash (\) before the character. For example, type \? to find a question mark.
  • You can use parentheses to group the wildcard characters and text and to indicate the order of evaluation. For example, type <(pre)*(ed)> to find “presorted” and “prevented”.
  • You can use the \n wildcard to search for an expression and then replace it with the rearranged expression. For example, type (Ashton) (Chris) in the Find what box and \2 \1 in the Replace with box. Word will find Ashton Chris and replace it with Chris Ashton.
To find Type Example
Any single character ? s?t finds sat and set.
Any string of characters * s*d finds sad and started.
The beginning of a word < <(inter) finds interesting and intercept, but not splintered.
The end of a word > (in)> finds in and within, but not interesting.
One of the specified characters [ ] w[io]n finds win and won.
Any single character in this range [-] [r-t]ight finds right and sight. Ranges must be in ascending order.
Any single character except the characters in the range inside the brackets [!x-z] t[!a-m]ck finds tock and tuck, but not tack or tick.
Exactly n occurrences of the previous character or expression {n} fe{2}d finds feed but not fed.
At least n occurrences of the previous character or expression {n,} fe{1,}d finds fed and feed.
From n to m occurrences of the previous character or expression {n,m} 10{1,3} finds 10, 100, and 1000.
One or more occurrences of the previous character or expression @ lo@t finds lot and loot.

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Use codes to find letters, formatting, fields, or special characters

Use the following codes to find letters, formatting, fields, or special characters. Note that some codes work only if the Use wildcards option is turned on or off.

Codes that work in the Find what box or Replace with box

To find Type
Paragraph mark (Paragraph mark ) ^p (doesn’t work in the Find what box when the Use wildcards option is turned on), or ^13
Tab character (Tab character ) ^t or ^9
ASCII character ^nnn, where nnn is the character code.
ANSI character ^0nnn, where 0 is zero and nnn is the character code
Em dash ( — ) ^+
En dash ( – ) ^=
Caret character ^^
Manual line break (Manual line break ) ^l or ^11
Column break ^n or ^14
Page or section break ^12 (when replacing, inserts a page break)
Manual page break ^m (also finds or replaces section breaks when the Use wildcards option is turned on)
Nonbreaking space (Nonbreaking space ) ^s
Nonbreaking hyphen (Nonbreaking hyphen ) ^~
Optional hyphen (Optional hyphen ) ^-

Codes that work in the Find what box only (when Use wildcards is turned off)

To find Type
Any character ^?
Any digit ^#
Any letter ^$
Picture or graphic (inline only) ^g
Footnote mark ^f or ^2
Endnote mark ^e
Field (when field codes are visible) ^d or ^19 or ^21
Comment (when comments are inline) ^a or ^5
Section break ^b
White space ^w (any space or any combination of regular and nonbreaking spaces, and tab characters)

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