When editing scientific texts, I often have to replace hyphens incorrectly used as minus signs with proper minus signs (i.e. U+2212). I'm working in Microsoft Word 2013 and trying to use a wildcard search.

So I type (\-)([0-9]) in the find box, and −\2 in the replace box.

However, upon finding -1, Word replaces the text with 1−, i.e. it reverses the number and the minus sign.

Any ideas? What am I doing wrong?

  • 2
    I don't know what is wrong with what you are doing, but on earlier versions of Word, the Find and Replace dialogue box has a More button: pressing it shows a Special button, which allows you to select Hyphen. This shows as ^~ in the Find what string, and you can simply enter - as the replacement string. – AFH Jul 22 '14 at 12:01
  • The minus/hyphen in your post looks different each time you use it – Dave Jul 22 '14 at 13:21
  • Your method works for me in Word 2007 and in Word 2013. I used the exact strings (with copy and pasre) in your description in “Find what” and “Replace what” boxes. – Jukka K. Korpela Jul 22 '14 at 13:45
  • Thanks Jukka, I will check if I have some weird settings. – AnnB Jul 24 '14 at 11:18

This is a bug in Word. If you have turned on revision marking this happens every time. Turn off revision marking and the proper behavior is restored.

  • Please be a little more specific with your detail, consider adding some reference and proof supporting what you state.. – Pimp Juice IT Oct 5 '17 at 16:28

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