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.
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.”
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.
Got a gnarly Word problem? Submit your problem and we’ll try to answer it in the new Q&A thread.
Never miss a Word-Wrangling Wednesday tip. Sign up here to get them by email.
By practicing one tip each week, you can invest 13 hours this year into professional development. To search the blog, use the orange bar right above this.
© 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.