Replacing Text Automatically in Microsoft Word

Recently, I wrote about inserting easy-to-find symbols such as $$ to mark places within a document that need additional work. (See “More Microsoft Word Tricks,” InstantDoc ID 99781  or click A lot of you wrote asking for other tips about "marking places" in long documents.

Three readers who wrote articulated an almost identical need: "I need to mark places all through a very long document where a graphic needs to be placed." Two of the readers needed to place a logo at the beginning of certain paragraphs, and one needed to place a specially designed graphic that marked certain paragraphs as "urgent." In one case, the decision about where to place the graphic was made by an editor who inserted a note that said "put graphic here" in the document. The others needed to make the decisions on graphic placements after they finished the document.

There's an easy way to mark long documents: Just use the familiar Find and Replace. Did you know that Find and Replace can use the clipboard in the "Replace With" field?

Assuming the text "put graphic here" only appears where the graphic needs to go, and isn't in the text of the document, you can use that phrase in the Find field. If you don't have an editor, and you're doing this from scratch, go through the document and enter $$ at each place you need the graphic.

Insert the graphic for the first instance, select the graphic, and press Ctrl-C to copy it to the clipboard. Then press Ctrl-H to open the Find and Replace dialog box. Enter the "placeholder" text (the editor's note or $$) in the Find field, and then enter ^c in the Replace field (the caret sign is over the number 6 at the top of the keyboard, and the "c" must be lower case). Click Replace All. Voila!

Of course, this also works if the replacement material is text.  You simply save text to the clipboard and use that in the Replace field

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