Basic Find and Replace for LibreOffice Writer

The Find and Replace dialog allows users an easy way of replacing text in a document. While it can find text with specific characteristics in the document, the dialog allows for basic and quick searches with the controls users see when it is first launched.

There are several ways to open the dialog:
  • Ctrl + H
    • NOTE: For Mac the key combination is Option + Command + F
  • Edit menu
  • Standard toolbar
  • Contextual single user interface
  • Home ribbon of Tabbed user interface
  • Home ribbon of Tabbed user interface
  • Groupedbar Full Compact
  • Groupedbar Compact

When it is first opened, the dialog has the Find field, the Replace field, and several find and replace buttons. Under the find field, there is a Match case check box and one for Whole words only.

The Other options drop-down menu gives the user many other choices for finding and replacing text. Click here to learn more about the advanced features.

Here is an explanation of each of the dialog’s elements:

Find text field

Type any string of characters in this field. It does not have to be a real word because the search is performed on the character level. Both words and parts of words that match the character string will be highlighted when one of the find buttons is clicked.

The exception to this is if there is a check in the Whole Words only check box. There are two check boxes associated with the field.

  • Match case: This will find the character strings in a document that match the string entered in the Find box exactly. If LibreOffice is typed Libreoffice will be ignored.
  • Whole words only: A check in the box will make it so a character string only will be highlighted if it is separated from other characters. If Cat is entered in the Find box, every instance of Cat will be selected if it stands alone catatonic and intricate will be ignored.
Replace text field

Type the string of characters that need to replace the characters searched for.

The buttons are described below.

NOTE: If a check is not placed in the “Whole words only” check box, the highlighted characters will be replaced. This could have undesired results, if the Replace All button is clicked.

Find buttons

The three Find buttons perform searches in different ways. At least one character needs to be entered in the Find field for the buttons to be active.

Find All

This will highlight all instances of the character string in the document that was typed into the Find text box.

Find Previous

This will highlight one instance of the typed character string at a time. It will start where the cursor is located.

Each click will highlight the next instance of the typed character string. The previous one will cease to be highlighted. The cycle moves bottom to top and right to left with each click.

Find Next

This will highlight one instance of the typed character string at a time. It will start where the cursor is located.

Each click will highlight the next instance of the typed character string. The previous one will cease to be highlighted. The cycle moves bottom to top and right to left with each click.

Replace buttons

These buttons will change the instances in a document that match the characters in the Find field to those in the Replace field. At least one character needs to be entered in the Find field for the buttons to be active.

These buttons can be used with the Find buttons, but they don’t have to be. The Replace and Replace All buttons can replace characters without needing to go through the cycles of the find buttons.

Replace

Clicking this button will replace one instance of the character string from the Find text box. If the Find All button was used to find text, it will start with the first instance in the document.

The first click of the replace button will highlight the first instance in a document that matches the characters in the Find field. The second click will replace those characters with those in the Replace text field and then highlight the next instance that matches the Find field.

Replace All

Clicking the Replace All button changes all the characters from the Find field with those in the Replace field. One click will automatically change every instance of the characters in the Find field.

%d bloggers like this:
search previous next tag category expand menu location phone mail time cart zoom edit close