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How do I set the default search direction in Word's Find and Replace from down to all? I really hate how "helpful" Word is by asking me constantly if I want to search the rest of the document.

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2 Answers 2

I believe I uncovered the answer while messing around with the dialog. At first I was going to post that the Find dialog appears to always open with All for me. See here:


As I was testing some alternatives I found the dialog opened with Down as a the selected option.


This appears to be tied to whether or not I had a word selected in the text. So when no word was selected I could open Find or Advanced Find and All would be the selected search direction. When I had a word selected the dialog or side bar would open with word as the search term and Down as the search direction.

You can easily change it from there but this appears to be MS trying to 'help' as you point out.

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Does this also apply to Find and Replace? – CyberSkull Apr 23 '13 at 22:20

Updating: In Word 2013, @Brad Patton's answer didn't work for me. The "Find" dialog always opened searching Up. To fix it, I used Visual Basic:

  1. Make sure no text is selected (i.e., just a blinking cursor).
  2. Make sure the Find dialog box is closed.
  3. Open the Visual Basic editor by hitting Alt+F11.
  4. Click on the "Immediate" pane or hit Ctrl+G to get there.
  5. Type/paste in one of the following and hit Enter:
    • To set the direction to "All," Selection.Find.Forward=True
    • To set the direction to "Up," Selection.Find.Forward=False
  6. Close the Visual Basic window.
  7. Save your document.

The next time you open the Find dialog, it should be set to the direction you wanted! If it shows as "Down" instead of "All", also try running the following code in step 5 above: Selection.Find.Wrap=wdFindContinue.

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I have Word 2013 Pro and this didn't work when I use CTRL + H to open the Find and Replace dialog box. Any idea why? – Arone Oct 29 at 6:52
@Arone did you do all of 1-7? Did you also try the wrap setting? What is the direction when you hit ctl+h? – cxw Oct 29 at 12:04
Thanks for replying @cxw When I hit CTRL+H, the direction is down when a word is selected but all when nothing is selected. Yes I tried both settings Selection.Find.Forward=True and Selection.Find.Wrap=wdFindContinue. – Arone Oct 29 at 15:41
@Arone - just checked and I also have Direction set as Down when a word is selected (though not otherwise). I played around with Application.Dialogs(wdDialogEditReplace) a bit but couldn't find a workaround. You could always collapse the selection first, I suppose. – cxw Nov 1 at 18:41
Too bad there is a way to fix this but thanks a lot for your help and your time! – Arone Nov 2 at 5:35

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