Microsoft

How to combine the Clipboard and Find/Replace feature for quick edits

Copying text is a simple task in Office applications. We're so accustom to this process that we don't even think about it. Even text that's not in the same document or same application easily copies without much effort from us, thanks to the Clipboard.

The Find and Replace feature is the same way. We use it to replace existing content with something else. What you might not realize is that you can use Find and Replace to replace multiple occurrences of a string with content directly from the Clipboard. You may be asking how this combination of features might help you. This combo helps when you're replacing content with text or a graphic file that's on the Clipboard. If you want to copy it multiple times, you probably do one of the following:

  • Copy content from the Clipboard into your document and then copy that instance into the Replace With box in the Find And Replace dialog.
  • Find each occurrence and do it yourself.

The good news is, there's an easier, but less intuitive way. Let's suppose that you want to replace your company's name in a promotional document with your company logo. The company name appears several times. Find And Replace is your best bet, but the company logo is a graphic file, so you can't use this feature. You could insert the file manually each time, but it just isn't necessary. Here's what you can do instead:

  1. Copy the graphic file (or text) to the Clipboard.
  2. In the document you want to change, choose Replace from the Edit menu.
  3. In the Find What box, enter the text you want to replace.
  4. In the Replace With box, enter the following code, ^c.
  5. Click Replace All.
  6. Close the Find And Replace dialog box.

Office will replace each occurrence of the Find What text with the graphic file or text on the Clipboard. This works with anything you've copied to the Clipboard.

About

Susan Sales Harkins is an IT consultant, specializing in desktop solutions. Previously, she was editor in chief for The Cobb Group, the world's largest publisher of technical journals.

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