How to use find and replace with wildcards in Word 2010 and Word 2013

In Word 2013 and Word 2010, apart from using the regular find and replace feature you can also use find and replace using wildcards. Click the Home menu and navigate to find menu.

Advanced Find in Word 2013 and Word 2010 

Click the dropdown arrow available next to Find menu and select Advanced Find from the available menu list. In the Find and Replace dialog box, click the More >> button

Find and Replace dialog in Word 2013 and Word 2010

Mark the checkbox with label as Use wildcards and click the << Less button.

Use wildcards in Find and Replace in Word 2013 and Word 2010

Now enter the wildcard entry in the Find what field and click the Find Next button to search the document using wildcards. For example if you want to find words starting with V followed by any characters then type V* in the Find what text box.

Find and Replace with wildcards in Word 2010 and Word 2013

Listed below are the some of the wildcards that can be used with Find and Replace feature in Word 2013 and Word 2010

  1. * – If you want find all words starting with V then type V*
  2. ? – If you want find all words starting with p followed by any character and with third character as o then type p?o. If the document has two words provide and powerful, the find will return only provide
  3. [] – For finding specific characters or range of characters. for example if you type [ele] then words containing any these letter will be shown.
  4. [!] – This would all characters other than one specified within the square box. Let us say you want to find out all special characters then you try the following wildcard entry – [! 0-9 a-z A-Z]
  5. @ – This will display the reoccurrence of previous character. [t@o] will display both to and too
  6. <> – Denotes start and end of the word. Let us say you want to find only you and your then type <you> in the find text box
  7. [() – Find word beginning with certain characters.

Also See: How to search for more than one characters in Word

In Category: MS Office, Word 2010, Word 2013

Ravi Shankar

A Software developer and blogger who is always looking to provide technical help to the wider community.

Show 7 Comments
  • AL April 14, 2012, 11:44 pm

    “Now enter the wildcard entry in the Find what field.”

    How do we do this?

  • Gilbert Simon July 18, 2012, 11:59 pm

    Okay, that was stupid! How about putting the instructions for the use of wildcards here!

  • Vinnie July 24, 2012, 1:16 am

    There are some commercial tools that can really assist you in finding and replacing in multiple word files like doc, docx, rtf and here are few links

    technocomsolutions advancefindreplacehelp

  • Joshua M. Smith November 9, 2012, 12:35 am

    Hello, I’m doing this packet at school, and we’re needing to find 2 Different ways to get to the ” wildcards ” in Microsoft Word 2010, And I only found one way, which is the one listed above, if you’re reading this please help me, I have the work due for a major grade tomorrow, email me A.S.A.P at ,
    I’d appriate it.

  • Bob September 4, 2013, 3:21 pm

    This does not explain how to use Wildcards. what are the wildcard characters and how are they used?

  • Steve September 14, 2013, 12:59 am

    Great tutorial for those that cannot find the check box. Where is the tutorial on using wildcard characters in a search?

  • Tony September 13, 2014, 2:06 pm

    Seriously, like the other commenters have stated, this page is a complete waste of time. It doesn’t help anyone who wants to use wildcards. You’ll be doing everyone a favour if you just remove this page so no-one has to waste their time reading it to discover it doesn’t help them.

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