Updated: 10/17/2017 by Computer Hope

Alternatively referred to as Search and Replace, Find and Replace or Replace is the act of finding text and replacing the found text with an alternative. Many software programs support the ability to find or search and replace text within a document from the Edit file menu. In the picture below is an example of what the Find and Replace dialog box may look like in Microsoft Word.

Find and Replace dialog box in Microsoft Word.

Tip: The common shortcut key to Find and Replace text in a word processor and other text editors is Ctrl+H. Other programs that don't support this shortcut key and do have an option to find and replace can usually find the Find and Replace or Search and Replace option through the Edit file menu.

How Find and Replace works

Below is an example of a Find and Replace for 'fox' that is replaced with 'cat'. If you click the Replace All button all instances of the word 'fox' will be replaced. If you don't want to replace all instances of a word, click the Find Next button until you find a word you want to replace, and then click the Replace button.

Before Replace All

The quick brown fox jumped over the lazy dog.

After Replace All

The quick brown cat jumped over the lazy dog.

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