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15 October 2012 @ 03:49 pm
Cool MS Word 2010 trick -- search and replace for a special character  
I just tracked this down for a friend, and wanted to share it with everyone.

Suppose you have a Word document and you want to do a search and replace, but what you want to insert is a special character not found on the keyboard (like ½ instead of 1/2). Here's what you do:
  1. Type the desired symbol, either by using the Ribbon to Insert | Symbol and selecting it from the dialog box, or by typing the alt code if you know it (e.g., alt-171 for ½).
  2. Highlight the symbol and press ctrl-c to copy
  3. Press ctrl-h to bring up the Search-and-Replace dialog box
  4. Type your existing text (the text you want to change), in this case ½, in the Search area
  5. Type ^c (caret-c) in the Replace area
  6. Either Replace | Find | Replace until done, or Replace All

Even easier, if you can find the relevant alt code for the character, you can just type that into the search or the replace box.

Is very snazzy.
browngirl on October 15th, 2012 09:06 pm (UTC)
*makes note* Thank you. :)
Stephen Harris: Straight Jacketsweh on October 15th, 2012 10:23 pm (UTC)
Or step 5 can be control-V to paste the character you copied at step 2, which seems more intuitive
Janet Miles, CAP-OMjanetmiles on October 16th, 2012 03:27 pm (UTC)
I'm pretty sure the friend who asked me to track this down said he'd tried that and it didn't work, but I'll double-check with him about it.
Stephen Harrissweh on October 16th, 2012 03:51 pm (UTC)
Definitely works in Word 2007 and 2010 (I tested before I posted). I don't have older versions available to me.