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How to search and replace across multiple files in Word?

Author: Amanda Li Last Modified: 2024-07-15

If you have several dozen Word files containing the same content, such as headers, footers, or specific words or numbers, and you need to replace this content across all documents, doing it manually can be time-consuming and cumbersome. Fortunately, there are more efficient ways to handle this task. This tutorial will show you tricky methods to replace the same content within multiple Word documents at once, saving you time and effort:

Find and replace texts across multiple Word documents at the same time with VBA code
Easily find and replace different texts across multiple documents at the same time with Kutools for Word


Find and replace texts across multiple Word documents at the same time with VBA code

1. Press Alt + F11 to open the Microsoft Visual Basic for Applications window.

2. In the Microsoft Visual Basic for Applications window, click InsertModule, then copy the following VBA code into the Module window.

VBA Code: Searching and replacing same content across multiple documents at one time

Sub CommandButton1_Click()
'Updated by Extendoffice 20180625
Dim xFileDialog As FileDialog, GetStr(1 To 100) As String '100 files is the maximum applying this code
Dim xFindStr As String
Dim xReplaceStr As String
Dim xDoc As Document
On Error Resume Next
Set xFileDialog = Application.FileDialog(msoFileDialogFilePicker)
With xFileDialog
    .Filters.Clear
    .Filters.Add "All WORD File ", "*.docx", 1
    .AllowMultiSelect = True
    i = 1
    If .Show = -1 Then
        For Each stiSelectedItem In .SelectedItems
            GetStr(i) = stiSelectedItem
            i = i + 1
        Next
        i = i - 1
    End If
    Application.ScreenUpdating = False
    xFindStr = InputBox("Find what:", "Kutools for Word", xFindStr)
    xReplaceStr = InputBox("Replace with:", "Kutools for Word", xReplaceStr)
    For j = 1 To i Step 1
        Set xDoc = Documents.Open(FileName:=GetStr(j), Visible:=True)
        Windows(GetStr(j)).Activate
        Selection.Find.ClearFormatting
        Selection.Find.Replacement.ClearFormatting
        With Selection.Find
            .Text = xFindStr  'Find What
            .Replacement.Text = xReplaceStr  'Replace With
            .Forward = True
            .Wrap = wdFindAsk
            .Format = False
            .MatchCase = False
            .MatchWholeWord = False
            .MatchByte = True
            .MatchWildcards = False
            .MatchSoundsLike = False
            .MatchAllWordForms = False
        End With
        Selection.Find.Execute Replace:=wdReplaceAll
        Application.Run macroname:="NEWMACROS"
        ActiveDocument.Save
        ActiveWindow.Close
    Next
    Application.ScreenUpdating = True
End With
MsgBox "Operation end, please view", vbInformation
End Sub

3. Press the F5 key to run the code.

4. In the opening Browse window, please find and select the documents you will find and replace text inside, and then click the OK button. See screenshot:

5. In the first Kutools for Word dialog box, enter the text you will find across documents into the Find what box, and then click the OK button.

6. In the second Kutools for Word dialog box, enter the text you will replace with, and click the OK button.

8. Click the OK button in the next Microsoft Word dialog box to finish the find and replace.

In this case, all words "Word" in selected documents are replaced with "Excel" at the same time.


Easily find and replace different texts across multiple documents at the same time with Kutools for Word

Here highly recommend the Batch Find and Replace feature of Kutools for Word. With this feature, you can easily find and replace different texts across multiple Word documents as the same time. Let's see how to apply this feature to find and replace texts across documents.

Kutools for Word, equipped with AI 🤖, offers over 100 handy features to simplify your tasks.

1. Please click Kutools Plus > Batch Find and Replace to enable the feature.

2. In the Batch Find and Replace dialog box, please configure as follows.

  • 2.1) Click the Add Row button under the Find and Replace tab;
  • 2.2) In the created row fields:
A. Enter the text you will find into the textbox in the Find column
B. Enter the text you will replace with into the textbox in the Replace column;
C. Specify a search type, where to find the text and a color to highlight the text as you need. In this case, I select Full word matching, Main document and a certain color from the Search Type, Find in and Highlight columns;
  • 2.3) Repeat the step 2.1 and 2.2 to add more texts you will find and replace;
  • 2.4) Click the  button in the File Type section to add the Word documents in which you will find and replace texts;
  • 2.5) Click the Replace or Find button. See screenshot:

Notes:
1. If you click the Find button, all finding results will be displayed under the Preview Result tab. After previewing the results, if you want to replace all texts, please click the Find and Replace tab. Otherwise, close the dialog.

2. If you click the Replace button, all specified texts will be replaced with new ones immediately, and the results will also be displayed under the Preview Result tab.

3. If you specify highlight colors in step 2, all replaced texts will be highlighted with specified colors, and you can easily find them at a glance in documents.

3. Close the Batch Find and Replace dialog box

For more information about this feature, please click here....

If you want to have a free trial of this utility, please go to free download the software first, and then go to apply the operation according above steps.

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Comments (71)
Rated 5 out of 5 · 1 ratings
This comment was minimized by the moderator on the site
Congrats!!! Your VBA code saves a lot of time. 5*
Rated 5 out of 5
This comment was minimized by the moderator on the site
thanks for -How To Search And Replace Across Multiple Files In Word?

what about from out side (by folder) ?

thanks gain
This comment was minimized by the moderator on the site
This is a great explanation.  Is there a way to change settings, e.g. page size, simultaneously? 
This comment was minimized by the moderator on the site
After pressing F5, I get the following error" "Compile error: User-defined type not defined." Can someone help?
This comment was minimized by the moderator on the site
Hi Monique,Please check if the Microsoft Office Object Library is enabled as shown in the screenshot below.
This comment was minimized by the moderator on the site
This is SUCH a time saving solution. THANK YOU!
One thing that may make it even better, is adding support for subdirectories. (That is: Files in multiple subdirectories)
I am an absolute newbie in this, and don't know the syntax, the parameter, or where to add that.

Could somebody help?
This comment was minimized by the moderator on the site
I need to replace text in multiple Word files and have the replaced text highlighted. Is there a way to do this?
This comment was minimized by the moderator on the site
Hi Daphne,
Why not try the Batch Find and Replace feature of Kutools for Word? It can solve this issue with ease.
This comment was minimized by the moderator on the site
this was a lifesaver thank you so much
This comment was minimized by the moderator on the site
Is it possible to replace in the headers of the word doc?
This comment was minimized by the moderator on the site
Hi Tiago,
Please apply the below VBA code to include the content of headers and footers when finding and replacing texts in multiple documents at once.

Sub CommandButton1_Click()
'Updated by Extendoffice 20180625
Dim xFileDialog As FileDialog, GetStr(1 To 100) As String '100 files is the maximum applying this code
Dim xFindStr As String
Dim xReplaceStr As String
Dim xDoc As Document
On Error Resume Next
Set xFileDialog = Application.FileDialog(msoFileDialogFilePicker)
With xFileDialog
.Filters.Clear
.Filters.Add "All WORD File ", "*.docx", 1
.AllowMultiSelect = True
i = 1
If .Show = -1 Then
For Each stiSelectedItem In .SelectedItems
GetStr(i) = stiSelectedItem
i = i + 1
Next
i = i - 1
End If
Application.ScreenUpdating = False
xFindStr = InputBox("Find what:", "Kutools for Word", xFindStr)
xReplaceStr = InputBox("Replace with:", "Kutools for Word", xReplaceStr)
For j = 1 To i Step 1
Set xDoc = Documents.Open(FileName:=GetStr(j), Visible:=True)
Windows(GetStr(j)).Activate
Selection.Find.ClearFormatting
Selection.Find.Replacement.ClearFormatting
With Selection.Find
.Text = xFindStr 'Find What
.Replacement.Text = xReplaceStr 'Replace With
.Forward = True
.Wrap = wdFindAsk
.Format = False
.MatchCase = False
.MatchWholeWord = False
.MatchByte = True
.MatchWildcards = False
.MatchSoundsLike = False
.MatchAllWordForms = False
End With
Selection.Find.Execute Replace:=wdReplaceAll
Application.Run macroname:="NEWMACROS"
If MsgBox("Do you want to replace texts in headers and footers too? ", vbYesNo, "Kutools for Word") = vbYes Then
ActiveWindow.View.SplitSpecial = wdPanePrimaryFooter
Selection.Find.Execute Replace:=wdReplaceAll
Application.Run macroname:="NEWMACROS"
ActiveWindow.View.SplitSpecial = wdPanePrimaryHeader
Selection.Find.Execute Replace:=wdReplaceAll
Application.Run macroname:="NEWMACROS"
End If
ActiveDocument.Save
ActiveWindow.Close
Next
Application.ScreenUpdating = True
End With
MsgBox "Operation end, please view", vbInformation
End Sub
This comment was minimized by the moderator on the site
Is that possible to replace in the header of the word doc?
This comment was minimized by the moderator on the site
Thanks for sharing this information with us.
Word search and replace tool
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