Find and replace text

Find and replace works basically the same in Publisher as in most other Office apps - you enter text to find, optionally enter some text to replace the found text, and tell Office which direction to start searching (forward or backward). However, some advanced options found in Word are not available in Publisher. Moreover, you might have trouble if the text you are trying to find is inside of Word Art.

Some advanced find and replace options that you might remember from Word are not available in Publisher

  • There is no equivalent to Word's Find and Replace dialog GoTo tab.

  • Text options are quite limited compared to Word. The following find and replace options are not available in Publisher:

    • Replace formatting or special characters

    • Perform wildcard matches

    • Match word forms or homonyms

    • Skip punctuation and white spaces

As a workaround, consider cutting and pasting the text from Publisher into Word and then using Word's more advanced Find and Replace features.

Find and replace works on text, not images

It may not be obvious the text you want to replace is actually an image.

For example, you might have a publication that appears to have a bold text watermark. You'd like to replace that text, but you are not able to select it by clicking. Find and replace comes up empty-handed too. It's like it doesn't even see it.

The problem could be that the watermark is a Word Art background image. Word Art fonts can look similar to regular fonts in Publisher, but the key difference is that Word Art is not seen as text by Publisher - so Find and replace really doesn't see it.

It's not hard to check - just look on the Master Page.

  1. On the Page Design tab, in the Page Background group, click Master Pages, and then click Edit Master Pages.

  2. There is usually not much content on Master Pages - the Word Art should be obvious. Click the Word Art to edit the text it contains.

  3. After you finish editing, click Close Master Page on the Master Page tab.

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