Word – Microsoft Office Word 2010: How to “Find and Replace” an entire line using “regular expressions” (wildcards)

microsoft wordmicrosoft-officemicrosoft-word-2010regexwildcards

I would like to "Find and Replace" entire lines in Microsoft Office Word 2010 which match some criteria.

I tried to find the solution in the official documentation, but I didn't find the answer:

(btw. here are two more useful unofficial documents: Find and Replace using wildcards; Regular Expressions in Microsoft Word)


Example

For example: I would like to search for all the lines which have the "Heading 2" style, and replace them so that they get between ## symbols: so this is the original text: This is my title, and I would like to find it and replace it this way: ## This is my title ## (this way I could transform a text's title into a Wiki-compatible heading 2 without any external plugins (EDIT: sorry, in the meantime I realized the MediaWiki-compatible heading 2 style uses == instead of ##, but it doesn't change the main point)).

So after Ctrl+H, checking "Use wildcards", selecting Format > Style > Heading 2, I've tried this and it did NOT work: (*^13>) or (<*^13>), where ^13 matches "Paragraph break / 'carriage' return" (see this) – this made Word search madly, and the GUI got frozen for minutes (!). At the end, it didn't find anything (but I DO have texts with Heading 2 style).

Microsoft Word 2010 - Find and Replace (*^13>) - Not Responding (Use Wildcards checked)

OK, this is not the appropriate pattern, so what would be the appropriate way to search and replace entire lines in Word?

Best Answer

  • Perhaps I'm missing something, but for some reason I wasn't able to do this in a single search/replace operation:

    Steps

    1. Before:

      1

    2. Replace empty string (format Heading 2) with "## ^& ##" (no formatting):

      2

    3. After first replace:

      3

    4. Replace "^p ##" (no formatting) with " ##^p" (no formatting) (be aware that there is a space at the beginning of the replace string!):

      4

    5. After second replace:

      5

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