Find and Replace the Specials

Ever find yourself working in MS Word and wishing you could run a quick find for nonprinting characters such as tabs, paragraph marks and section breaks? I mean, we all know how to use the Find / Replace feature to scan through a document for particular words, but how exactly do we tell Word to look for a thing like a section break?

I know that we could choose to display nonprinting characters, but that still wouldn’t give us the speed of the Find / Replace feature.

So, now what?

Well, the answer has been in the Find / Replace feature all along. You just have to know where to look for it!

To Find and / or Replace one of these nonprinting characters in MS Word, you’ll obviously need to begin by opening the Find / Replace Window. (Edit menu, choose either the Find or Replace choice or you could use Ctrl + F or Ctrl + H).

Now, we need to click the More button.

This will open the bottom half of the window and that’s where we’ll find our nonprinting characters.

At this point, click the Special button.

A list of options will be displayed. Simply choose what it is you’re looking for and Word will do the rest by filling in the appropriate code into the Find field.

Then just complete the Find and it’s back to business as usual!

~ April