Latest posts by techwriter (see all)
- How to Avoid Repeating Words in a Headline - April 18, 2017
- Leveraging Multi-Function Printers With Document Imaging Software - April 10, 2017
- Understanding and Effectively Using Document Indexing in a Document Capture Solution - April 5, 2017
@ Ugur Akinci
PROBLEM: Imagine you’d like to replace the words “Press”, “Drive” and “Click” with “Activate” in a MS Word document with a single Find-and-Replace operation. You don’t want to perform a separate Find-and-Replace procedure for each word that you’d like to replace.
Or worse, you know that the words you’d like to find and replace have 5 characters (or N characters) but you can’t remember exactly what they were.
SOLUTION: Use special search characters “^?” and “^c” with MS Word Find-and-Replace function. For N-character words, use the “^?” characters N times in the Find box.
1) Open your MS Word document. Save your replacement text to the clipboard (Ctrl+C).
2) Use “^?” for each character and “^c” for the content of your clipboard. Represent any 5-character word with “^?^?^?^?^?“.
3) IMPORTANT: Make sure, in the Find-and-Replace dialog box, the following check boxes are also selected:
- Find whole words only
- Ignore punctuation characters
- Ignore white-space characters
HINT: If these check boxes are not displayed, click the “More>>>” button.
Your Find-and-Replace dialog box should look like this:
4) Click Find Next. When you find the 5-character word you are looking for, click Replace, and repeat.
5) Repeat the same procedure for different word lengths by using different numbers of “^?” special characters in the Find box.
NOTE: This method works 99% of the time but it’s not perfect. Depending on your document, it will find some N-character words that include a space or a bracket, etc. Therefore I’d recommend against clicking the “Replace All” button. Decide for each replacement on a case by case basis. And as always, save a backup copy of your document before finding and replacing its words.
The advantage of this method is, you’ll do all the replacing in one sweep. You won;t have to repeat the finding cycle for each n-character word.