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Word pro tips: Use Wildcards for faster, more accurate search-and-replace results

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Michael Webster
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For example, in Poker, when aces are wild, that means an ace can represent any card in the deck.

The same is true for wildcards in programs such as Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Windows, and even Google.

Anyone who works with large documents hundreds of pages knows how long it takes to make global changes using just the basic Search and Replace options.

For example, if you want to find all occurrences of someone named Ann, the basic Search and Replace only locates Ann, Anne, and Anniversary if it s capitalized because wildcard searches ARE case sensitive.

Then, if you replace all occurrences of lowercase ann with mae, you ll get some very odd results: maeiversary, Cezmaee, plmaeing, chmaeel, cmaeonball, mmaeequins, etc.

Be sure to use the parentheses to separate expressions into groups.

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Michael Webster
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