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Searching Interactively

You can search one or more open files or windows and move through the search matches one by one using the Find dialog box. This technique allows you to review each individual search match in the context of the text around the match. You also have the option of performing bulk find operations and reviewing search matches in report format using the Find in Files dialog box. For more information on bulk searches, see Searching Using Results Lists.

To search all open documents

  1. Open the items you wish to search.
  2. On the Edit menu, choose Find and Replace and then choose Find.
  3. In the Find what text box, enter the text you intend to search for.
  4. In the Search area, select All open documents.

    Caution   Certain open files might not be searched when All open documents is selected. Only files currently open in a textual view, such as Code view, are included in searches. Forms in Form view, .NET Framework files in Designer view, and HTML files in Design view will not be included in searches. These can be included by opening them in their Code or HTML views, respectively. Be sure to open the files in the appropriate view before attempting to search.

  5. Select additional search options to increase the accuracy of the search. For more information on search options, see Find Dialog Box and Regular Expressions.
  6. Choose Find Next to start the search and continue choosing Find Next until the last file has been searched.

When the search passes the beginning or end of the document, a message is displayed in the status bar. A message box appears when the search reaches the starting point of the search.

To replace in all active files interactively

  1. In the Find dialog box, choose Replace.


    On the Edit menu choose Find and Replace, and then choose Replace.

  2. In the Replace with text box, enter the text with which you intend to replace the search text.
  3. In the Search area, select All open documents.
  4. Choose Replace and continue choosing Replace until the last match in the last file has been replaced. Use Find Next to skip a match you do not want to replace.


    Choose Replace All to replace all matches. A message box appears, listing the total number of replacements.

The Replace all command replaces all search matches, including those you have skipped with the Find Next button. To reverse Replace All, choose Undo from the Edit menu before closing any of the files.

The Find/Command box allows you to quickly search for text in an open document.

To search from the Find/Command box

  1. On the Standard toolbar, select the Find/Command box.
  2. Type the text you intend to search for and press ENTER.

    The first match for the search text is selected.

  3. Press F3 to navigate to the next occurrence.

When the entire document has been searched, a message box appears.

See Also

Searching and Replacing | Searching Using Results Lists | Searching an Active Document Incrementally | Find Dialog Box | Replace Dialog Box

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