Quick tip: Improve search in Word by closing the search pane!

I thought I knew Word… or at least everything I needed to know. But still little surprises come along and you just wonder how you’ve missed them in the past.

I wrote a post about the new search in Word 2010 and Karen left a comment on that post offering this awesome tip. If you’ve used Word you’ll know that one annoyance of search in earlier versions of Word was the way the search box would jump around all over the document when you clicked the Find Next button often obscuring the document and the search results. That’s been improved in Word 2010 as I mentioned in the earlier post, but Karen pointed out that once you hit Ctrl-F and enter your search term in the navigation panel if you then close the dialog box in the left margin and then hit Ctrl-PgDn, it repeats the search without calling the dialog box! Awesome. You can search down through all the occurrences of your search phrase just by using this keyboard combination and without the annoyance of the search box obscuring your document and results. And, wait for it, Ctrl-PgUp runs back up through the search occurrences. And this tip also works in the so-called Advanced Find in Word 2010 – that’s the old style search pre-Word 2010. I mentioned how to access that in the earlier post. In addition, you can even resume the search after doing some typing by just pressing Ctrl-PgDn or Ctrl-PgUp again. I’ve found that this tip also works in Word 2007 and Word 2002 and probably other versions too.

No doubt if I’d taken the time to carefully read through one of the Word cheat sheets I’ve downloaded in the past I would have known this tip already. So I’ll just past it on here in the hope that someone else out there will benefit from it.

Got any good Word tips? Drop a comment below.

2 Responses

  1. markinboone Says:

    The double arrows at the bottom of the vertical scroll bar in the document window do the same thing: you can close the (Advanced) Find dialog (which you can open from the Browse Object button in between the arrows), then click the up double arrows (Previous) and down double arrows (Next).

  2. techandlife Says:

    Thanks for that! I still prefer the keyboard combination though.

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