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How to use Find and Replace Formatting in Word

How to use Find and Replace Formatting in Word

How to Use Find and Replace in Word

Now most people know that you can use Find and Replace in Word to find a word and replace it with something else. Particularly useful if you have misspelled a word throughout your document and need to correct it everywhere. Did you know however that you can also find and replace formatting or special characters?

Today I am going to show you how to find and replace formatting – you can try out the other things yourself.

Find and replace formatting

Here’s how:

First of all click on the Replace icon(1) under Find on the Home Ribbon – you will then be offered the Replace Dialogue box (2) where you can choose what kind of things to look for and to replace. At the bottom click the Format button and then Chose the Format to look for (3) in my case Heading 1. Next you are offered the box asking for the style to replace it with (4) in my case Heading 2. Then you will see the Replace dialogue with Style Heading 1 and Style Heading 2 (5). Now decide if you want to Find Next or Replace or Replace All. I chose Replace All and Word goes off and does its thing and tells me that it made 48 replacements (6).

Have you used this?

Is this tip useful?

Leave a comment below and let me know ! I love to hear from my readers.

p.s Remember to use the coupon code – WORD15 at the checkout on any of my Word courses. You may like the How to Create and eBook and Lead Magnet course as it covers a whole host of things in Word, from creating and applying Styles, to adding a Table of Contents, Adding pictures and captioning them – working with Tables and a whole host more. Use WORD15 at the checkout. Go to Courses to see the full list of what is available.


VAs – Create Word Templates to speed things up!

VAs – Create Word Templates to speed things up!


Templates help speed up work. A template will hold formatting such as Styles and Margins plus any standard text that is needed. Templates can be created for many purposes, a standard letter, a letter of engagement, anything that will save you time if you have it as a starting point. As a busy VA you likely work with several clients.

When you start a new blank document, you are using the Normal Template. Note that the font, alignment, margins and styles are all set.

If you need headed paper to include your logo, house styles and some standard text then a template is what you need.

Start a new document based on a template

Note that you are looking at Featured templates. Here Microsoft offers you a selection of templates to choose from

Click Personal and you will see any templates that you have created and saved yourself.

Choose the document template you want to use, and the document will open.

Create a template from scratch

Set up the document, adjust the margins add any standard text, add Headers and Footers etc.

  1. Click File and then Save As
  2. Click Browse
  3. Name the template and change the document type to Word Template
  4. The save location will change to Custom Office Templates – a folder that Word created in your Documents Folder
  5. Click Save

Modify a template

You saved the template and then realise that you need to change something. You must open the actual template from the folder you saved it to and make changes and then save. If you just start a new document based on the template, you will not be changing the template, just the copy.

  1. Navigate to the Custom Office Templates folder
  2. Right Click on the template you wish to amend
  3. Choose Open
  4. The Template will open – you will see its name at the top of the document not just Doc 3
  5. Make the changes and then click Save
  6. Once you have saved the changed, close the template to avoid making any further changes to it.

Now that you can see how easy it is to create a template and how much time it will save you when creating your standard documents, you can learn how to make it even more time saving by changing the Styles.

Create templates for each client you have with their own branded style gallery! Huge Time Saver- Huge!

To learn how to apply, modify and create styles take my Work Smarter with Style Course – there is a Windows Version and a Mac Version. As a reader of my blog, you can get 15% off by using the coupon code WORD15 at the checkout!

Go to Courses

This code applies to any of my Word Courses. Visit the course page to see what is available.

Let me know how you get on and how much time this is going to save you! Leave a comment below.

VAs –  Tired of switching between documents? Show them Side by Side

VAs – Tired of switching between documents? Show them Side by Side

You know the drill. You are working on a document or rather there are two. You need to copy some things from one to the other maybe its text or a picture. Normally you would have the two documents open and use the task bar to switch between them. Did you know you can view the two documents side by side? Thought not. It is something that is not widely used and is very useful.

How to view two documents Side by Side in Word (on Windows)

Start off by opening the first document to work on. Then open the second document to work on.

Click on the View Ribbon and then the icon View Side by Side (it may be really tiny)

Word will ask you which documents to show side by side –

In this example I have open – this document (Document3) the document on screen is 10 Tips for Faster Working in Excel 2016 and the document open in the dialogue box is 10 Tips for Faster Working in Excel for Mac. I want to display the two tip documents side by side to compare them, so I will choose the 10 Excel Tips for Faster Working for Mac from the list.

Nest Word will open both documents side by side

When you open them, Word will also switch on Synchronous Scrolling so that as you scroll through one document you stay in the same place on the other. You can turn this off if you want by clicking on the icon.

So, what do you think of this week’s tip? Useful? How will you use it? Leave a comment below!





P.S – Online Courses for Microsoft Word : Work Smarter with Style ( for Windows or Mac) Learn all about using Styles in Word.  Create eBooks and Lead Magnets with Ease – all the things you need to create an eBook or Lead Magnet in Word. Go to Courses to pick the one you want. You can get 15% off any of the Word courses by using this coupon code at the checkout WORD15.

VAs – Start a presentation from a template

VAs – Start a presentation from a template

Templates In PowerPoint

Now you may be thinking – I know you can start a presentation from a template, but did you know that Microsoft provides lots of ready made design templates both locally on your computer and online? No? Well let me show you.

In PowerPoint click File New and you can choose from any of the templates offered on the screen. These are Design templates and include colours and layouts and sometimes variations.

PowerPoint Template

But if you look at the top of the New screen you will see that you can search online and there are categories. One such category is Business which I picked to use as an illustration.

PowerPoint template search

When I click Business I can now choose from quite a selection and I chose Tech Dividend Design.

PowerPoint Online template

It downloads the template and when you click Create a new presentation is opened on your screen complete with ready-made slides for you to simply update with your data.

PowerPoint template

Cool no? I think so!

PowerPoint courses

Did you know that I have three PowerPoint courses in the tomorrow’s VA Academy?

Master the Slide Master takes you through how to get to and modify the slide master so that you can update the design of your presentation in one place.

How to Create Infographics just using PowerPoint – shows you how to harness the software you have on your machine to create Infographcis.

Create Instant Instagram Posts in 30 Minutes or Less – yep, you are correct! I show you how to use PowerPoint to create Instagram posts. Once your template is set up you can create 30 or so in half an hour.

I have a special offer today. Get 15% off any of the courses. The Master The Slide Master comes in two flavours, one for Windows and one for Mac.

The other two are recorded using PowerPoint for Windows – however work the same way for Mac.

Use the Coupon Code – PPT15 at the checkout to get 15% off the price.

Get them here – Courses

You will see that there is also a bundle – Social Traffic Mastery which includes all three courses. This is priced at 3 courses for the price of 2 so when you apply the PPT15 Coupon Code you get an even bigger discount.





Testimonial – This is what one of my students says about Master the Slide Master

The first thing I heard about Shelley Fishel, the author of this course, was from my web designer – “she knows EVERYTHING about Microsoft Office. Any problems, just message her.” This came an the right time. I had just had my first skirmish with the Slide Master and I had come off worst. Still licking my wounds, I didn’t have the confidence to ask for help. 

Word reached Shelley that I needed help and she told me about the course. I knew I needed it but ego knew better. Oh, crud. A few months went by and I had reached the dizzy heights of 20 to the Slide Master, 0 to me. I had spent hours trying to recreate the same thing in Excel that someone had done using the Slide Master. It didn’t work. Of course, it didn’t work! 

Swallowing my pride, I took this course. It’s great. Easy to manage, there’s one video that’s just over five minutes and the rest are less than five minutes. It’s in bite-sized pieces and everything is carefully explained with Shelley doing it as she’s talking. 

It’s clear and easy to understand even a bolshi 63 year old can understand it. 

I’ve changed the fonts and I’ve changed the colours in the Slide Master, which is my new BFF. It isn’t quite purring but we’ve shaken paws and I’m taking it out for a drink later 🙂

Why would anyone take a perfectly good idea for a presentation then build it using the Slide Master when PowerPoint is so good for putting projects together? 

Because, when your project is a daily planner with 365 pages and you get to the end and realise you’ve got the same spelling mistake on every page you’ll wish you had used the Slide Master to build it on, because you’ve got to go and correct every page. Or start again using the Slide Master. 

Using the Slide Master will be a game-changer in my journal design business. It will save me hours of work. 

Thank you, Shelley! 

Shân Marshall

VAs – Conditional Formatting can show the way in Excel

VAs – Conditional Formatting can show the way in Excel

You are a busy VA – that’s a given! A client has asked you to show her what her data means. What is the top value in the list of sales? Can you see values that meet a condition? Conditional Formatting will show the way.

What is Conditional Formatting?

Conditional formatting is exactly that, a format applied that matches a condition.

There are 5 kinds of Conditional Formatting to choose from:

  • Highlight Cells Rules – pick this to show cells that match a particular number/text value/date.
  • Top/Bottom Rules – pick this one, for example, to find the Top 10, Top 10%, Bottom 10 or Bottom 10%.
  • Data Bars – these shade the cells based on top and bottom values, so the greater the value the more shading in the cell. You can pick the colour scheme to suit.
  • Colour Scales – use Colour Scales to apply a scale from smallest to largest and set what each colour means.
  • Icon Sets – Use Icon Sets to show crosses and ticks, traffic lights etc as symbols in the highlighted cells.

Create your own rules

You can also create and apply your own rules to automatically change the formatting of cells based on the contents.

Where does Conditional Formatting live?

You will find Conditional Formatting on the Home Ribbon. To use it, first select the cells you want to apply the condition to and then choose the type of condition to set, followed by the format you would like to see.

Conditional formatting

  1. Select the data
  2. Click on Conditional Formatting
  3. Select the type of formatting

Once you have decided which of the formats to use, you can then drill down and specify the exact format you want.

For example, if I want to see Total Sales at Koffee Island above £900 I will choose the Highlight Cells Rules and then Greater than, adding in the amount I want it to look for and setting the format.

Conditional Formatting

Have a play with all the different types of Conditional Formatting, you will be amazed at how easy it is to spot patterns and get information from your data when you can visualise it.

Change the background fill of a cell

Your client has asked you to create a workbook or worksheet for her. She wants the background colour of some of the cells to change based on the text typed in or a number entered. For this you will need to create a custom rule.

Use a formula to control conditional formatting

To add conditional formatting to show a range of colours – I have a list of rooms names Red Yellow and Green and I would like the fill colour to change according to the name of the room. This is handy if you need to keep a visual track of room bookings for example.

Change the colour fill

Conditional Formatting

I applied three formats to the cells one on top of the other.

If A2:A10 contain the word Red apply Red formatting

If A2:A10 contain the word Yellow apply Yellow formatting

If A2:A10 contain the word Green apply Green formatting

Apply the first condition

Conditional formatting

Select the cells to which you want to apply the conditional formatting and then click on Conditional Formatting and select New Rule.

Format cells that contain

Conditional Formatting

In my example, I selected Format only cells that contain

Then picked Specific Text from the drop-down list

Added the word Green in this case

Set the format by clicking Format and going to the Fill tab to pick the colour.

Repeat for the other conditions

Go back and add the other two rules to the selected cells. Remember to change the criteria for each accordingly.

Now test your rules! Type one of the words into one of the cells that you selected when you started and watch the background colour change!

How did you find this tip? How will you use it? Leave me a comment to let me know.

To learn more about Excel you can take one of my Excel Courses, there is one for Windows and One for Mac.

Find them here : Courses

Or get in touch if you would like to work with me one to one!