Find and replace only in selection

I want to do a find and replace ONLY within a selection. I thought I was doing something wrong, but  then I found this:

where the user notes the same thing I found. This is surely a bug (or one of the worst design decisions in Word - and that's saying a lot!). Does  anyone know a way to make Word do what it should do?

I've been moving the selection to a blank file and doing the operations there. But this gives other problems: when I replace the selection in the original document, the page headers get messed up and one or more bookmarks are deleted. A huge pain!



When you use 'Replace' or 'Find Next', instead of 'Replace All', the selection collapses to just the found text. Word makes this quite obvious, by showing what is selected. Since the original range is no longer selected, clicking on 'Replace All' applies itself from there to the end of the document. As MSKB article ( says:

"When you click Replace or Find Next, Word cancels the selection because it thinks you want to check the entire document. "

Given how long Word has worked this way, one can only reasonably conclude it's by design.

The simple solution is to take care with what you're doing - if you want to do a 'Replace All' on only a selected range, don't press 'Replace' or 'Find Next' instead. Alternatively, if you do click 'Replace' or 'Find Next', it's up to you to either re-select the preferred range before clicking 'Replace All' or continue using 'Replace' or 'Find Next' only until you reach the end of the original range.

Paul Edstein
(Fmr MS MVP - Word)

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Question Info

Last updated July 8, 2020 Views 18,891 Applies to: