A couple of new “Find” options (Word 2007)

October 18, 2009 at 1:52 pm

The “Find and Replace” dialog in Word 2007 (often referred to simply as the “Find” dialog) has been modified somewhat from previous versions. It offers two new options:

(1) “Reading Highlight“; and

(2) “Find in.”

To use the “Find” feature, either press Ctrl F or locate the Editing group at the right side of the Home tab and click the Find button. When the “Find” dialog appears, type a word or phrase in the “Find what” box.

If you want to highlight every instance of that word or phrase in the document, click the “Reading Highlight” drop-down, then click “Highlight All.” Word marks the word or phrase — everywhere it appears — in yellow.

There are two ways to turn off the highlighting. One is to click the “Reading Highlight” drop-down again, and this time click “Clear Highlighting.” (Note that the “Clear Highlighting” button doesn’t turn off any highlighting that you applied by using the highlighter icon in the Font group on the Home tab. To remove that highlighting, select the affected text and either click the highlighter icon a second time — it’s a toggle — or press Ctrl Alt H.) The other way to turn off the reading highlighting is by sending the document to the printer. At least in my tests, printing removed the highlighting, and the printed document did not display any highlighting marks.

Another new choice in Word 2007’s “Find” dialog, “Find in,” lets you specify where the program should look for a word or phrase:

(1) in the Main Document;

(2) in Footnotes, if any exist in the document;

(3) in Headers and Footers, if any exist in the document; or

(4) in selected text (“Current Selection“), if any.

If you don’t tell Word which portion of the document to search, typically it searches everywhere. At times it can be useful to look only in the footnotes, however, or only in the body of the document (excluding the footnotes, headers, and footers from the search).

Regardless of how — or whether — you use this option, it’s important to be aware of it because every once in a while it goes haywire. When you perform a search, making the reasonable assumption that Word is scouring the entire document, the program sometimes “gets stuck” searching only the footnotes. If an error message pops up, indicating that the program can’t find any more instances of a particular word when you know it hasn’t turned up all of them, be sure to click the “Find in” drop-down to see which part of the document Word is examining. If necessary, reset the search location (usually you’ll need to change it back to “Main Document“), then click the “Find Next” button to resume searching the document text.

For another caution about using the “Find” feature, see the companion post (above) about the interaction between “Find” and “Browse By” in Word.

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Entry filed under: Uncategorized.

Legal Management Magazine’s blurb about my book “Find” triggers “Browse By Object” — and disables Page Up and Page Down (Word, all recent versions)


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