How to Use Find and Replace in Google Docs

The Google Docs online word processor makes working with text in a document simple and easy. One helpful tool it supports is Find and Replace. For example, if you're turning in a report but realize you misspelled a name a dozen times throughout 30 pages, Find and Replace will fix the mistakes in seconds.

The Find and Replace tool also works with Google Sheets and Google Slides.

How to Use Find and Replace

Open the Find and Replace tool in Google Docs through the keyboard shortcut Ctrl+H (Windows) or Command+Shift+H (macOS), or access Find and Replace via the menu.

  1. With the document open, go to Edit > Find and replace.

    Find and Replace in Google Docs' Edit menu
  2. Type the word or phrase to find in the Find field.

  3. Enter the new word(s) in the Replace with field.

  4. Select the Replace all button to replace all of the text in the Find field with the text you entered in the Replace with field.

    Replace All button in Google Docs
  5. The errors in your document are now fixed.

If you want to replace only some of the instances and not every single one in the document, use the < Prev and Next > buttons to find each instance of the word and then click Replace to replace the word if needed.

Other Uses for Find and Replace

Find and Replace in Google Docs has additional functionality.

Numbers and Characters

Search for numbers and other characters, as well, and even use regular expressions to search for text. For instance, find every sentence that ends with "option;" and then replace with "option!", or whatever else you want.

Delete Words in Bulk

Find and Replace is helpful for deleting words in bulk. With Google Docs, enter the word or words to be removed in the Find field and then put either a space or nothing at all in the Replace with field, essentially deleting the words.

Match Case

The Match case option lets you search for words with specific letters in upper case or lower case. For example, maybe you want to replace the word "mom," but only if it's capitalized in your document as "Mom." Type Mom in the Find field and enable the Match case option. No other variations on the word will be affected.

Finding Text Within a Document

If you're in a Google Doc and want to search for specific text, access Find through the keyboard shortcut Ctrl+F (Windows) or Command+F (macOS).

The Find tool works well to quickly locate text, numbers, and other characters within the document. With the Find tool open, access Find and Replace by selecting the three-dotted button next to the Find box.

The basic Find tool in Google Docs