Knowing how to find and replace text formatting in Word can save you a huge amount of time. Rather than manually updating text formatting across an entire document, you can use Word’s powerful search and replace tools to quickly change fonts, sizes, styles, and more. This tutorial will teach you techniques like:
- Using the Find and Replace tool for text formatting
- Modifying styles for global formatting changes
- Wildcard characters for advanced find and replace
- Recording macros to automate multi-step tasks
Follow along to learn how to harness Word 2007’s formatting features to work smarter, not harder!
Finding and Replacing Text Formatting
The Find and Replace tool in Word is useful for more than just finding text. You can also use it to search for and replace specific text formatting like:
- Font family
- Font size
- Font color
- Bold/italic text
- Underlined text
- Text with certain paragraph styles applied
Here are the basic steps:
- Press Ctrl + H to open the Find and Replace pane
- Click the More > > button to show advanced options
- Check the box for Format to display formatting options
- Specify the formatting you want to find
- Optional: Specify replacement formatting under the Replace tab
- Click Find Next to jump to the first match, or Replace All to replace everywhere
For example, let’s say you want to find all text set in the Arial font at a 12 pt size. Here are the steps:
- In the Find and Replace pane, check Format
- Under Font, choose Arial
- Set font size to 12 pt
- Click Find Next repeatedly to cycle through matches
- Optionally set replacement font formatting if desired
The more options you specify in the Find Format and Replace Format sections, the more precise your search becomes.
Pro Tip: Use wildcard finds (covered later) along with format specifications to search complex formatting like specific font colors.
Modifying Styles for Global Formatting Changes
Rather than manually updating text formatting throughout a document, you can save time by updating styles instead.
Styles in Word allow you to define reusable formatting like fonts, spacing, indents, etc. When you modify a style, any text with that style applied will update automatically.
For global find/replace formatting operations, styles should be your first choice rather than manual text updates.
Here is an easy way to update formatting through styles:
- Press Ctrl + Shift + S to open the Styles pane
- Right click the style you want to change
- Choose Modify from the menu
- Tweak the formatting options in the dialog box
- Click OK to apply the changes
For example, if you want all Heading 2’s to use the Arial font, just modify the Heading 2 style. This will cascade the change to all headings in one click!
The Styles pane also lets you control styles from one spot rather than digging through menus. Once you learn to leverage styles, it will transform how you work with Word!
Using Wildcard Characters for Advanced Finds
Sometimes you need to search for specific formatting that’s difficult to define, like font sizes set at 13.5 pt. Or font colors set to specific RGB values.
This is where wildcard characters come in handy!
Wildcard finds allow you to search using special characters to target complex formatting criteria.
Here are some particularly useful find and replace wildcards related to text formatting:
|What It Finds
|Double strikethrough text
|Font color in RGB or hex code
|Left aligned text
You can combine wildcards with numbers and operators to find very specific formats.
For example, to find all text set at a 13.5 pt font size:
- In the Find box:
Or to find specifically pink font color:
- In the Find box:
Spend some time playing with wildcard finds and you can precisely target the formatting you need!
Macro Recorder for Repeated Tasks
If you need to repeatedly search and replace the same complex formatting criteria, the Macro Recorder can help.
The macro recorder captures your find/replace steps into a VBA macro that you can reuse. No coding is needed on your part – just turn on the recorder and Word handles the rest!
Here are the basic workflow steps:
- Click the View tab on the ribbon
- Click Macros > Record Macro
- Give the macro a name
- Complete your find/replace workflow
- Click Stop Recording when done
- The macro will now appear in your list of saved macros
- Run the macro anytime to repeat the tasks!
The macro recorder is fantastic for batch formatting updates like:
- Changing all 12 pt text to 11 pt
- Updating text colors site-wide
- Fixing double spaces or incorrect dashes
- Applying new paragraph styles
Just record the steps once manually, then let the macro repeat the job endlessly!
You can also view the generated VBA code and customize it further for advanced needs. But often the recorder alone does the trick perfectly.
The macro recorder transforms Word’s find/replace from one-off tool into reusable automation. It’s an easy way to eliminate repetitive formatting tasks.
That wraps up our deep dive on searching and replacing text formatting in Word 2007. As you can see, Word offers many built-in features to help tackle difficult find/replace jobs involving fonts, sizes, styles, and more.
Here are some next things to try:
- Use wildcard finds for advanced formatting criteria
- Modify styles for easy global formatting changes
- Record find/replace macros to automate batch jobs
Applying these skills will help you work faster and smarter with Word formatting. They can eliminate many tedious manual updates in your documents.
Let me know if you have any other questions!