How to Find and Replace in Word

November 20, 2018

Don’t waste time scanning your document for the name you realized you misspelled several times.

In Microsoft Word, you can find it and replace it with the correct spelling — with the click of three buttons. 

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Find and Replace in Word

Here are the step-by-step ways to Find and Replace in Microsoft Word. It’s easy and you’ll rectify that mistake in no time.

1. Click the magnifying glass in the top-right search bar

Look to the top-right of your screen. There should be a search bar there that says ‘Search in Document.’ Another way to find this search bar is by using the shortcut cmd+F. It will take your cursor to the search bar immediately.

Once there, click on the magnifying glass within the search bar.


Note: If you are using Windows, on the ‘Home’ menu you click the ‘Replace’ button.

2. Select 'Replace'

In the drop-down menu that appears after you select the magnifying glass, hit ‘Replace.’ It’s the second option.

3. Type in the word you want to change and what you want to replace it with

A sidebar will open up to the left. In the first field, type the word you want to find. In the second, type the word you want to replace it with.

If it’s a character or a punctuation mark you’re after, select the drop-down arrow next to the fields.


You can select whichever character you would like there. For example, you might want to change the word “paragraph” to the paragraph symbol.

Another nifty trick: you can use the gear beneath the first text box to specify how you want Microsoft Word to look for the change.

For example, if you want Word to follow the case you used, make sure ‘Ignore Case’ is not checked. (It might automatically be checked).


You could also check ‘Whole Words Only’ to make sure it doesn’t accidentally pick up words that contain the letters you want to change.

4. Hit ‘Replace All’

When you enter the word or phrase you want to find, Word will pull up a list of all the places the word is mentioned. Take a quick scan through all the mentions to make sure no random words got picked up (example: finding the word “Ron” might pick up “Akron.”

If everything Word pulled for you looks good, then hit ‘Replace All.’ Otherwise, go through and hit ‘Replace’ for each instance you do want to replace it.

Your replacement is complete!

The word you wanted to correct should now be replaced throughout the entirety of your Word document. Too easy. While you're editing you also might come across an instance where you'd like to leave feedback for the original author or next reviewer. Learn how to track changes in Word to keep your documents nice and organized.

Interested in what other people have to say about Word? Read some reviews. 

Browse Microsoft Word user reviews →

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