How to Use Google Docs Find and Replace Feature Efficiently


Matthew Burleigh

Google Docs is a widely-used tool for creating and editing documents online, and one of its handy features is the “Find and Replace” function. This function allows you to search for specific words or phrases in your document and replace them with different text, saving you the hassle of manually editing each instance. Whether you’re correcting a typo that’s repeated throughout your document or updating information, the Find and Replace feature can save you valuable time and effort.

Step by Step Tutorial: How to Use Google Docs Find and Replace

Before you dive into finding and replacing text, it’s important to understand what you’re about to do. This feature searches your entire document for the text you specify and replaces it with the text you provide. It’s a powerful tool, but you’ll want to use it with caution to avoid unintentionally changing text you didn’t mean to.

Step 1: Open the Find and Replace Tool

Open the “Edit” menu and select “Find and replace” or use the shortcut Ctrl+H (Cmd+H on Mac).

Once you open the Find and Replace tool, a small window will pop up in the upper right corner of your document. This is where you’ll enter the text you want to find and what you want to replace it with.

Step 2: Enter the Text to Find

In the “Find” field, type the word or phrase you want to find in your document.

Make sure you spell the text exactly as it appears in your document to ensure the tool finds every instance.

Step 3: Enter the Replacement Text

In the “Replace with” field, type the text that you want to use as a replacement.

Be careful with this step – whatever you type here will replace the text you’ve indicated in the “Find” field, throughout the entire document.

Step 4: Use the Find and Replace Options

Choose whether to replace one instance at a time by clicking “Next” then “Replace,” or all instances at once with “Replace all.”

If you’re not sure about replacing every instance, use the “Next” and “Replace” option to review each one before making changes. If you’re confident, “Replace all” can save you time.

After you complete the Find and Replace action, the specified text in your document will be updated. If you used “Replace all,” every instance of the text you entered will now be replaced with the new text. If you replaced them one by one, you would have had the chance to review each instance before confirming the change.

Tips: Making the Most of Google Docs Find and Replace

  • Always double-check the text you’re about to replace to avoid any accidental changes.
  • Use the “Match case” option to ensure you’re only finding and replacing text that matches the exact capitalization.
  • If you’re working with a large document, consider replacing one instance at a time to avoid overwhelming changes.
  • Remember that the Find and Replace tool won’t catch misspellings or variations of your search term unless they’re exactly what you entered.
  • Utilize the “Find” function alone to simply locate specific text in your document without replacing it.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I undo a Find and Replace action?

Yes, you can undo a Find and Replace action by pressing Ctrl+Z (Cmd+Z on Mac) immediately after you perform the action.

Does Find and Replace work with special characters or formatting?

Find and Replace does work with special characters, but it does not recognize text formatting like bold or italics.

Can I use Find and Replace in other Google Workspace applications?

Yes, similar Find and Replace functions are available in other Google Workspace applications like Sheets and Slides.

Is there a way to save my Find and Replace settings?

No, you cannot save specific Find and Replace settings within Google Docs, but the tool will remember your last search until you close the document.

Can I use regular expressions in the Find field?

Google Docs does not currently support regular expressions in the Find and Replace tool.


  1. Open the Find and Replace Tool
  2. Enter the Text to Find
  3. Enter the Replacement Text
  4. Use the Find and Replace Options


Mastering the Google Docs Find and Replace function can be a game-changer when it comes to editing documents. With these steps, you’ll be able to swiftly update text throughout your entire document, ensuring consistency and accuracy. But remember, with great power comes great responsibility. Always double-check what you’re about to replace, and don’t be afraid to use the one-by-one replace option for more control. Beyond editing, this feature is perfect for updating documents with new information, maintaining branding consistency, or even making stylistic changes. So, next time you find yourself making the same edit over and over, turn to Google Docs Find and Replace to save your sanity and your time.

Matthew Burleigh

Matthew Burleigh has been writing tech content online for more than ten years. He enjoys writing about Google Docs in addition to many other applications and devices and has cumulatively covered Google’s word-processing application in hundreds of different articles.

He has been published on dozens of popular websites, and his works have accumulated millions of pageviews.
While focused primarily on tutorials and guides for popular electronics like the iPhone and iPad, as well as common applications like Microsoft Word, Powerpoint, and Excel, he covers topics across the entire technology spectrum.

You can read his bio here.

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