There are lots and lots of Find and Replace tricks in Word and the other Office applications too. Find and Replace is a hard working feature that allows you to edit your documents quickly and easily. And we all know how I love quick and easy! One of the little known tricks in Find and Replace is that you can use it to insert text.
Suppose you work in a law office and you have created a pleading with the plaintiff simply referred to as Plaintiff throughout the pleading. Now, the author of the pleading decides they would like it to now read Plaintiff Smith. You could use the Find and Replace feature to search for every occurrence of the word Plaintiff and add the name manually for sure, but that could quickly turn in a very tedious and time consuming task. There is a much simpler way to accomplish this task.
Follow the steps below to learn how:
- Click Ctrl + F to open the Find and Replace dialog box.
- In the Find What area key in Plaintiff
- In the Replace With area, key in ^&, Smith.
This is truly a very simple example in which it really doesn’t matter all that much, but you could potentially have much more difficult tasks for this feature. You may need to insert text both before and after and existing string or the existing string may be long and unfamiliar, widening the margin for error, which can be very difficult to troubleshoot in a Find and Replace task.
Using ^& to represent the Find What string is a very easy way to insert text and keep the Find What string intact.
I bet you will find many ways to use this little known feature now that you have learned of it!