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#215 Using Wildcards with Find and Replace

February 20, 2014

You can use the Find and Replace feature in Microsoft Office products to make quick and easy edits to text.  Wildcards are special characters you can use to make searching through your documents more efficient.  Here are some useful wildcard characters:


  • Use an asterisk (*) to find any string of characters, including space and punctuation characters.

Ex: searching “s*d” finds sad, started, and significantly altered

  • Use a question mark (?) to find any single character, including space and punctuation characters.

Ex: searching “s?t” finds sat, set, and sit 

  • Use the at sign (@) to find one or more occurrences of the previous character or expression.

Ex: searching “lo@t” finds lot and loot


You can mix and match wildcard characters for efficient removal or replacement of text.  For example, you can search “$*.??” to find any dollar amount that you have in the document and choose to delete or replace it. 


For a full list of wildcard characters, please see this Microsoft Support Guide.

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