If you're curious about which words you might be overusing, wordle.net and wordcounter.com are both good resources for this.
The Find and Replace buttons are on the far right under the Home tab.*
Clicking Find brings up this window. You can get to Replace by clicking the Replace button under the Home tab or if you're already in Find and Replace, you can just select the Replace tab in this window.
To get a word count for a specific word, type the word you're looking for in the "Find what:" box and select "Main Document" under the Find in menu. This will also allow you to visit each instance of the word individually by clicking Find Next repeatedly until you've gone through the whole document.
Personally, I prefer to select "Highlight All" from the Reading Highlight menu. This highlights all the instances of the word, including those in the middle of another word (I'll show you how to eliminate this in just a minute). Doing it this way allows you to highlight multiple words (repeat above steps for each word) and it also allows you to close the Find and Replace window and just go through your document as you normally would.
When you're done, select "Clear Highlighting" from the Reading Highlight menu to remove all the highlighting from the document. You shouldn't have to do each word individually.
Most of the time, you probably won't want it to include parts of words as it did above. To eliminate this issue, click on the More >> button in the bottom left corner of the Find and Replace window to give yourself more search options. The More >> button becomes the << Less button when it is selected and vice versa.
All the options are pretty much what they sound like they are.
- Match case will find uppercase or lowercase versions of the word according to how you entered it in the "Find what:" box.
- Find whole words only eliminates the issue of it finding parts of words.
- Use wildcards allows you to type only part of the word with special characters to broaden your search. For example, you can use "?" for any missing letters. "j??t" will find all four letter words starting with "j" and ending in "t". You can also add a * to the word, like "j*t" and it will find words beginning with "j" and ending in "t" with no limit on the number of letters in between. With the * it also finds sentences or parts of sentences beginning with "j" and ending with "t", so this may be too broad for most searches. There are other options under the Special button at the bottom of the Find and Replace window.
- Sounds like will find words that are spelled similarly or have the same sound. I don't use this one much, so I'm not familiar with its limitations.
- Find all word forms will find different forms of a word. So if you search for "their" it will find "their", "them", "they", etc. Again, not one I use much, so I'm not familiar with its limitations.
- Match prefix will find all words with your search word at the beginning of the word. So if you search for "for" it will find "for", "forever", "forget", etc.
- Match suffix is the same as "Match prefix", it just finds your search word at the ends of words throughout your document.
- Ignore punctuation characters I've yet to find a use for this one, so if anyone has any input, please share.
- Ignore white-space charaters will let you search across words, so if your did a search for "mental" it would find "moment all". Make sense?
The Special button at the bottom has options for finding things that don't have visible characters, like tabs (^t), paragraph marks (^p), etc. What comes up under this button is different if the Use wildcards box is selected. I don't think I've ever used these with the Find feature, but I use them all the time with Replace.
The Replace menu is a little different from the Find menu. I use this mostly for formatting changes and name change.
It's a pretty simple process. Just type the word (or characters) you want to replace in the "Find what:" box and the new word (or characters) in the "Replace with:" box. Then select Replace to replace the words one at a time or you can just select Replace All and it will replace all instances of the word and give you count of how many words were replaced.
Make sure you select Find whole words only or you'll end up with some made up looking words in your manuscript. Like, if you're replacing the name Jack with Bob, you may get things like Bob-o-lantern and carBobing. :)
This feature is so helpful if you need to do a quick formatting change to make your manuscript more blog or email friendly. First do a select all (ctrl+a) to highlight all the text or highlight the text you want to change. Then select the Paragraph menu under the Page Layout tab and change your Line spacing to single.
Then fill out the Replace menu to match this and click Replace All.
If you use a formatted indent instead of a tab at the beginning of your paragraphs, you'll need to change the Left indentation to 0" under the Paragraph menu (see above). In this case your Replace menu should look like this:
This should give you a single spaced document with a space between each paragraph and no indentations, which is the most reader friendly for the web.
You may find that Blogger likes to add extra spaces between paragraphs with this formatting. If this is the case, try this instead. Set your spacing after your paragraphs to 12pt in the Paragraph menu.
And your Replace menu:
Remember that whether you use the ^t character or not will depend on your indentation formatting, so remove that from the "Find what:" box if necessary.
So hopefully that's not too confusing. Let me know if you have any questions in the comments.
Any of you using this already? Any suggestions for using this feature?
More Word tips posts here.
*MS Word 2007
And there are still a few days to enter my contest for a custom contact button!