Word’s Ctrl + F problem

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Ever since Microsoft put in the Navigation Pane, they’ve messed up access to the Advanced Find dialog box.

A few readers were surprised to discover that the old Find dialog had been hiding under that little arrow on the side.


Dan H. writes “You rightly mention Microsoft’s infuriating switcharoo on the familiar Ctl-F shortcut for the Find dialog–making it open the Navigation pane. I’ve learned to use the Ctl-H shortcut (Find & Replace) instead.

Ctrl + F used to open the Find dialog but now opens the Navigation Pane instead. There’s no shortcut to open the now-named Advanced Find dialog box with all the useful extra features.

Dan is right about the workaround, press Ctrl + H which opens the neighboring Replace dialog.  Then press Alt + D to switch to the Find dialog.

It’s not as simple or fast as Ctrl + F but that’s all Microsoft leaves us with.

Change the Shortcut

You’d think a solution would be to re-assign Ctrl + F to go to the Advanced Find dialog.  After all any shortcut can be changed from Options | Customize Ribbon | Keyboard Shortcuts.

But maybe not … the VBA command for the Advanced Find dialog is FindDialog (according to Microsoft itself) but that command isn’t on the Customize Keyboard list.

We could only find (no pun intended) FindOptionsDialog which takes you to the Find options … not the Find dialog.


Any way you look at it, Microsoft really didn’t think through the consequences of changing the destination of the simple Ctrl + F shortcut.

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