In this issue we'll look at how to search within a document in the various Office programs. It works in similar ways but not exactly the same in each program.
You might think it's as simple as typing in a word and Office will find it but, as usual, there's a lot more power hidden away.
Next issue we'll look at the complement of searching and that's replacing.
We're talking about the Find function within Office programs to locate text in the open documents. Searching for text across all your documents is a whole different topic that we've covered in our popular how-to book the Desktop Search Handbook
First we'll look at find in Word, because that has all the key features that are available across the Office programs. Then we'll note some of the differences in Excel, Frontpage and Outlook.
Hit Ctrl+F to bring up the Find dialog box. Type in a word or phrase, click OK and Word will find that string of text. Pretty simple but there's a lot more to it.
For starters, the basic find is simpler than any web search you're used to. There are none of the logical options (AND is assumed but there's no OR nor NEAR). Strings are handled differently too. In web searches you use double-quotes to define a set of words eg "white wash" with quotes will find those two words in order. In Office the double quotes are assumed and if you type them in they are included in the search (ie Office will look for the double quote characters). If you've used Office for years that will seem obvious, but people who've become used to web searches often believe all search systems work the same way.
Article posted: Thursday, 27 October 2005
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