Skip to content

Four Word shortcuts to the Advanced Find dialog

There are four ways to make a shortcut or menu button that jumps directly to the Microsoft Word Advanced Find dialog box, instead of the Navigation pane the default for Ctrl + F.

Ever since Microsoft added the left-side Navigation pane, there’s been no shortcut to open the far more powerful, full Find dialog box (now called Advanced Find). Advanced Find has all the Word Find/Replace goodies like special characters, formatting, styles and a lot more. Ctrl + F shortcut opens the less powerful Navigation pane leaving the better choice without a shortcut … until now.

Thanks to all the Office Watch readers who sent in the tip including: Karen, Ron, Geoff, Calvin and Alice. Also thanks to David W for spotting some ‘mistooks’ in the Ribbon section.

The trick is knowing that the original dialog has the VBA name ‘EditFind‘ – not FindDialog as shown in Microsoft’s own documentation <sigh>.  Somewhat counter intuitive since the Find options are at FindOptionsDialog.   The word ‘Find’ should come first according to Microsoft’s current own naming rules.  Ron S. a regular Office Watch reader points out that ‘Edit
Find’ comes from the old menu structure of pre-Office 2007.

Once you know what to look for, the rest is straight-forward customization.


Go to Options | Customize Ribbon | Keyboard Shortcuts: Customize.

Choose All Commands

Scroll down the long list of commands and select EditFind or, if you prefer EditReplace for the Replace pane of the same dialog.

Click in the ‘Press new shortcut key’

Type the new shortcut you want to allocate or press Ctrl + F / Ctrl + H to reallocate the current shortcut.

For the sake of completeness, here’s how to add buttons to the ribbon and Quick Access Toolbar.

Quick Access Toolbar

Go to Options | Quick Access Toolbar, choose All Commands and scroll down to Advanced Find or, if that’s not there one of the two Find commands.

Microsoft renamed ‘Advanced Find’ to just ‘Find’, presumably because the old name was too clear and obvious. ‘Advanced Find’ is the name Microsoft uses on it’s own menu. Grrr. So now there are three commands called ‘Find’ in the list, look for the one with a ‘magnifying glass’ icon and the label ‘FindDialog’ in the tooltip.

Click on Advanced Find/Find then the Add button to move it on to the QAT.

The quick way is to add it from the default ribbon.  Go to Home | Editing | Find | Advanced Find right-click on the menu item and choose ‘Add to Quick Access Toolbar’.


Advanced Find is on the Ribbon, under Home | Editing | Find

To add it elsewhere, Options | Customize Ribbon, choose All Commands.

Click on Advanced Find (or one of the Find options, see above) then the Add button to move it on to ribbon in the location you’d like.

Alas, there’s only one choice, an overly large button.

So it’s unlikely many people will be using this additional button.

Another Find shortcut options

If that seems like too much trouble (totally understandable) there are some ‘almost there’ options using the default Word shortcuts.

Ctrl + H (Replace) or Ctrl + G (Go to) open the same dialog box but on a different tab.

Press either of those shortcuts then Alt + F will open the Find tab.

Find has clever options in Microsoft Word
More great Word tricks with Find
Sending a complete Word document – fonts and all

About this author

Office Watch is the independent source of Microsoft Office news, tips and help since 1996. Don't miss our famous free newsletter.