Find & replace text

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Author's Find and Replace Text feature can find any characters or words in your document, and optionally replace them with different text.

To find and replace text:

  1. Start the Find Text feature:
    • In the main window, use the Author tab. Click Author > Find > Find and Replace

      -or-

    • In the Editor, use the Review tab. Click Review > Find > Find and Replace

      The Find and Replace window opens.

      Find and Replace

  2. Apply the Match whole word and Match case settings required for the search.
  3. In the Find what field, type the text you're looking for.
  4. In the Replace with field, type the text to be substituted for the original text.
  5. In the Look in field, choose the search location; the available options depend on where you're searching: in the library, book, or topic.
  6. To begin searching, click Find. Author finds the next occurrence of the text and highlights it.
    • If you're searching across multiple topics, each topic containing the text is opened one by one, and any changes you make to the topic are automatically saved when you move to the next topic. A progress bar showing the number of items being checked is displayed on the top right-hand corner of the Find and Replace window.
    • A message displays if no occurrences of the text are found. Click OK to close the message window. You may want to try specifying different text to search for, then try again.
  7. If you have specified replacement text:
    • To replace the highlighted text, click Replace. Author replaces the selected text, and waits until you tell it to find the next occurrence by choosing Find again. You can check that the replaced text is as you want it before you continue.
    • To skip replacing this occurrence of the highlighted text, click Find.
    • To replace all occurrences of the text, select the Replace menu and click Replace All.

      Replace All button

      Note: Be very careful when selecting the Replace All option across multiple topics, because the changes cannot be undone. A message displays requiring confirmation to complete the action.

  8. A message appears when you've searched the entire content set that you previously specified. Click OK to close the message dialog, and then close the Find and Replace window.

Using find and replace in the library

From the Library Explorer (main window), click Replace to change individual instances of the text, or Replace All to change all instances as selected in the Look in list. The search locations are:

  • Library - Searches all objects within the library.
  • Displayed Objects - Searches all objects in the folder's object list or the search object list.
  • Selected Objects - Searches the selected objects in the folder's object list or the search object list.

Note: A message will display if one of the objects included in the selection is open. If you complete the Replace All function while an object is open, the object will not ge the update.

Using find and replace in the editor

From the Editor, click Replace to change individual instances of the text in the open topic, or throughout the book. Alternatively, click Replace All to change all instances of a word in the topic, or throughout the book. The search locations are:

  • Book - Searches all topics in the active book.
  • Topic - Searches the active topic.

Using find and replace in a topic

From the topic, click Replace to change individual instances of the text, or click Replace All to change all instances of the text. The search location is:

  • Topic - Searches the active topic.

Settings for replacing text

When you replace text, the format and case (CAPITALS, Title Case, Sentence case, lower case) of the text are ignored, unless you specify otherwise in the settings option.

  • Match whole word - To find the text as a whole word (not part of a word), click Settings > Match whole word. Note that searching for "author" will not find "authors" and "authoring".

    When this option is not selected you can find variations of the text, for example if you type "author" it will also find "authors" and "authoring".

  • Match case - To find only the text with the same case (CAPITALS, Title Case, Sentence case, lower case) click Settings > Match case. For example, replacing "blue" with "green" and selecting Match case would result in "blue, Blue, BLUE" being replaced with "green, Blue, BLUE".

    When this option is not selected, the case already applied in the topic is maintained when the word is replaced. So replacing "blue" with "green" and not selecting Match case would result in "blue, Blue, BLUE" being replaced with "green, Green, GREEN".