Find and Replace, Not Search and Destroy

Prevent Find and Replace from turning into “search and destroy” by using the Whole Word Only, option (“Find whole words only,” for Windows users). This feature helps you replace only whole words, and not matching fragments within other words.

Like a refined Find and Replace, the red-billed oxpecker picks parasites off an impala without hurting the host.

By simply selecting Whole Word Only, the software will identify only “man” and not “human“, for example. This helps to avoid replacement errors such as “inclient services” when attempting to replace instances of “patient.”

Mac users can click the gear icon in the F&R pane to access this option.
Windows users should look for the “Find whole words only” option (greyed out here because wildcards are in use) within Advanced Find and Replace.


This option is not available in the simple Find field at top right of the Word window (a feature now for Mac users only). It is accessible only from the Search/F&R panel (for Mac users) or within Advanced Find and Replace (for both Windows and Mac users).

This option isn’t compatible with wildcards.

book cover cropped to banner size
Find out more about Find and Replace, starting on page 49 of the 2nd edition of the book.

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© This blog and all materials in it are copyright Adrienne Montgomerie on the date of publication. All rights reserved. No portion may be stored or distributed without express written permission. Asking is easy!

Photo of impala and oxpecker by Bernard Dupont, used under CC BY-SA 2.0.

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