Browse Definitions:

Find and replace (FnR) wildcards for Microsoft Word

?= Any 1 character

 *=Any string of characters

@ any number of repeats of the previous character

<=the beginning of a word

 >=the end of a word

{n}=n repeats of the previous char

{n,}=at least n repeats

 {n-m}= between n and m repeats

[ ] marks a set of characters

 A - used inside this means an ascending range between the two hyphenated characters

 A !, only valid at the set’s start, means ‘any character except’.

() groups the expressions and indicates the order of evaluation. It is used with the n wildcard to rearrange expressions. The result of the 1st () pair is represented by 1, the next pair 2 and so on.

The easiest way to use a special character as a literal, eg to find a {, use the ASCII code instead. ASCII codes are specified in ANY sort of search with the ^.

= ^92                   {=^123                   }=^125                   ?=^63
*=^42                   [=^91                    ]=^93                    ^=^94
@=^64                   <=^60                   >=^62

To find some relevant information in Word’s help file, go to Contents > Editing and Sorting text > Finding and Replacing Text.

This was last updated in May 2008

Join the conversation

1 comment

Send me notifications when other members comment.

By submitting you agree to receive email from TechTarget and its partners. If you reside outside of the United States, you consent to having your personal data transferred to and processed in the United States. Privacy

Please create a username to comment.

You can also use some commercial software for find and replace and it also makes your ms word more powerful.


File Extensions and File Formats


  • risk map (risk heat map)

    A risk map, also known as a risk heat map, is a data visualization tool for communicating specific risks an organization faces. A...

  • internal audit (IA)

    An internal audit (IA) is an organizational initiative to monitor and analyze its own business operations in order to determine ...

  • pure risk (absolute risk)

    Pure risk, also called absolute risk, is a category of threat that is beyond human control and has only one possible outcome if ...


  • federated identity management (FIM)

    Federated identity management (FIM) is an arrangement that can be made among multiple enterprises to let subscribers use the same...

  • cross-site scripting (XSS)

    Cross-site scripting (XSS) is a type of injection security attack in which an attacker injects data, such as a malicious script, ...

  • firewall

    In computing, a firewall is software or firmware that enforces a set of rules about what data packets will be allowed to enter or...



  • business continuity and disaster recovery (BCDR)

    Business continuity and disaster recovery (BCDR) are closely related practices that describe an organization's preparation for ...

  • business continuity plan (BCP)

    A business continuity plan (BCP) is a document that consists of the critical information an organization needs to continue ...

  • call tree

    A call tree -- sometimes referred to as a phone tree -- is a telecommunications chain for notifying specific individuals of an ...


  • volume manager

    A volume manager is software within an operating system (OS) that controls capacity allocation for storage arrays.

  • external storage device

    An external storage device, also referred to as auxiliary storage and secondary storage, is a device that contains all the ...

  • NetApp SolidFire

    NetApp SolidFire is a business division of NetApp Inc. that specializes in all-flash storage systems.


  • hybrid hard disk drive (HDD)

    A hybrid hard disk drive is an electromechanical spinning hard disk that contains some amount of NAND Flash memory.