Word 2007 gurus: Advanced search

Discussion in 'Gaming and Software' started by msr, Dec 9, 2009.

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  1. msr

    msr LE

    Trying to ensure that I have all the references for my dissertation, so what I would like to do it search for (xxxx) through my document, where x is any numeral. This way I can double check I have the correct reference in the final section.

    E.g. Smith (2001), Jones (2003), Brown (1995)

    What do I need to put into the Word search box?

  2. 'Life, one for the use of'
  3. Press CTRL and F for FIND

    Choose MORE, tick USE WILDCARDS

    Then in the FIND field you can enter: [1-2][0-9][0-9][0-9] which means 1 or 2 then any numeric value three times which will get you any 4 digit value starting with 1 or 2

    Click FIND NEXT to step to the next value found each time.

    However if this is a dissertation don't rely on search tools, spell checks etc. Print and PROOF READ repeatedly
  4. That's a useful trick! How did you discover that tip????

  5. msr

    msr LE

    Close, but no cigar, as this will find any year - I need the date in brackets.

  6. Gremlin

    Gremlin LE Good Egg (charities)

    OK - not the cleanest option, but have you thought of converting into PDF format and then using Adobe's search function, which is far more flexible?
  7. (^#^#^#^#)

    NB not using Wildcards with this pattern match.
  8. With 'wildcards' off - (^#^#^#^#) will find any 4 digit number in brackets, not just years

    With 'wildcards' on - [(][12][90][0-9][0-9][)] will find years.
    A little more refined with 1 or 2 as the first digit, 9 or 0 as the second and any as third / fourth. Square brackets are used to specify the year will be surrounded by brackets. (Just the bracket will fail as they will be treated as a code in wildcard searches)
    So this search will find any (19xx) or (20xx) years, but could also find (10xx) or (29xx) values

    I'm a professional, I've been paid to know useless facts such as that for the one time it may be of use.
  9. Ah but as MSR is clearly using APA style guidelines for his dissertation, there shouldn't be any non-date four digit numbers solely enclosed in brackets anyway.

    So my method is not only simple, it will also highlight any other formatting inconsistencies in the document.

    (But really I’m just jealous of your superior pattern matching skills)
  10. msr

    msr LE

    Wrong, I am using Harvard ;)
  11. Rather than taking this long way around MSR, I strongly suggest using EndNote to make sure you have your referencing all nice and tidy.

    This (and similar packages) manages your references and allows them to be inserted into Word. It then formats your reference list in whatever style you are working to.

    If you can't get a copy via your uni IT dept, you can get a 30 day trial here.

    I use Endnote every day, and once your refs are in the database, it saves hours and hours. I also insist that all my students use it, as it saves tears before thesis submission.