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How to search and replace across multiple files in word?

If you have several dozen word files which contain the same content (such as Header, footer, some special words or number), and you need to replace the same content across those documents in Word. How would it be easier for you to get it done quickly? Certainly, you can open those files one by one to replace the same content, but it will be time-consuming and troublesome. This tutorial will show you a tricky way to replace same content within multiple documents in Word at once.

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 : with more than 100 handy Word add-ins, free to try with no limitation in 60 days.

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 (69)
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This comment was minimized by the moderator on the site
Will it ask where the documents in question are located? Or do all the documents need to be open?
This comment was minimized by the moderator on the site
When you run it, by default it will open up the "Open File" dialogue window to "My Documents". Navigate to the folder that contains the Word files you wish to make the changes to. You can press "Ctrl" + "A" to select all files, or hold down the "Ctrl" key while selecting certain files. Click on "Open" or press "Enter" and watch the magic happen.
This comment was minimized by the moderator on the site
Yes I have the same question as i think this would be useful but want to tell it to only look in certain folders.
This comment was minimized by the moderator on the site
When you run the macro, the "Open" window will open. Navigate to the folder that contains the files you need to make the change to, then click once on the first one, then, while holding down the "Ctrl" key, click on the other files also requiring the find/replace. If all files in the folder need the action, just press the "Ctrl" and "A" keys. Then click on "Open" or press the "Enter" key, and the macro will begin. I should warn you, as I've performed this dozens of times at work: The macro will result in the changes being made only to the *body* of the Word document; headers, footers, and title text/alt-text will be excluded. If you have text in the aforementioned portions that needs replacing, you will have to perform a standard find/replace across individual documents.
This comment was minimized by the moderator on the site
Could this VBA technique be adapted to work for Publisher files? For example by changing *.docx to *.pub ?
This comment was minimized by the moderator on the site
Wow you are a saint for putting this macro together! I am listening to 'Epic Battle Music' on Songza because I am such an amatuer Macro-smith and it's the only way I can make it through the pain and agony of crafting programming spells. Anyway, my point I am going to make is a spent a lot of time on Friday troubleshooting the part where you actually put in the text you want to find and putting in the text you want to replace - I did not quite understand this part in terms of where I put my "find" word text and "replace" word text: [quote]Note:you can change the Text = "search”, Replacement.Text = "find” to specify the content to be searched and the content to be applied for replacement. [/quote] I read over this again today and I wish to respectfully clarify for other programming non-initiates - in the section of VBA where you have copied and pasted the original programming language, make sure you put an end ' after the what and a ' after the with (see example below) - in my example, I am looking for multiple documents to replace Pizza with Stromboli: .Text = "Pizza" 'Find What' .Replacement.Text = "Stromboli" 'Replace With'
This comment was minimized by the moderator on the site
When I run it, it gets hung up and stops at: Application.Run macroname:="NEWMACROS" and when I step into it, it tells me I have a Compile error: Named argument not found. Now what?
This comment was minimized by the moderator on the site
Worked like a charm and it did save a lot of time and effort for me. Thanks.
This comment was minimized by the moderator on the site
I still cannot get this to work on my PC running Windows 7. When I run it, I get an error msg at the line: -Windows(GetStr(j)).Activate The error msg. is: -Compile error: -Sub or Function not defined Any idea why? And how to fix it?
This comment was minimized by the moderator on the site
This is what finally worked for me. I hope it helps. I added this macro to a word file. It will run the replace any documents selected (you can select as many as you like) when the file dialoge is open. It wont work on sub folders so I did each folder in the file structure individually but it worked.It may not be the best fix but it works at least. Private Sub CommandButton1_Click() Dim MyDialog As FileDialog, GetStr(1 To 100) As String '100 files is the maximum applying this code On Error Resume Next Set MyDialog = Application.FileDialog(msoFileDialogFilePicker) With MyDialog .Filters.Clear '~~> Change this file extention to the relevant doc type. .Filters.Add "All WORD File ", "*.doc", 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 For j = 1 To i Step 1 Set doc = Documents.Open(FileName:=GetStr(j), Visible:=True) Windows(GetStr(j)).Activate Selection.Find.ClearFormatting Selection.Find.Replacement.ClearFormatting 'Section then either one or the other of sections of code to follow.
This comment was minimized by the moderator on the site
You then add one of the following two sections depending on if it is test or hyperlink to be replaced '~~> This section if uncommented will replace text - ONLY ONE OF TWO SECTIONS CAN BE UNCOMMENTED AT ONCE With Selection.Find .Text = "http://www.google.co.uk" 'Find What .Replacement.Text = "http://www.google.com" '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 ActiveDocument.Close Next Application.ScreenUpdating = True End With MsgBox "operation end, please view", vbInformation '~~> This section if uncommented will replace hyperlinks 'For i = 1 To doc.Hyperlinks.Count ' 'If the hyperlink matches. ' If LCase(doc.Hyperlinks(i).Address) = "http://www.google.co.uk/" Then ' 'Change the links address. ' doc.Hyperlinks(i).Address = "https://www.google.com" ' 'Change the links display text if desired. ' doc.Hyperlinks(i).TextToDisplay = "http://www.google.com" ' End If ' Next 'Application.Run macroname:="NEWMACROS" 'ActiveDocument.Save 'ActiveDocument.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
Hi Pia, I am trying to run your script for replacing hyperlinks but am getting errors. Any chance you can post the script for replacing hyperlinks all in 1 piece? I must be messing something up when trying to patch your code together.
This comment was minimized by the moderator on the site
It only runs across selected files and files must be in one folder only. This is run as a macro in a word doc. It is run from clicking a button. It only updates word doc's Hope this helps. Private Sub CommandButton1_Click() Dim MyDialog As FileDialog, GetStr(1 To 100) As String '100 files is the maximum applying this code On Error Resume Next Set MyDialog = Application.FileDialog(msoFileDialogFilePicker) With MyDialog .Filters.Clear '~~> Change this file extention to the relevant doc type. .Filters.Add "All WORD File ", "*.doc", 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 For j = 1 To i Step 1 Set doc = Documents.Open(FileName:=GetStr(j), Visible:=True) Windows(GetStr(j)).Activate Selection.Find.ClearFormatting Selection.Find.Replacement.ClearFormatting For i = 1 To doc.Hyperlinks.Count 'If the hyperlink matches. If LCase(doc.Hyperlinks(i).Address) = "http://www.yahoo.co.uk/" Then 'Change the links address. doc.Hyperlinks(i).Address = "https://www.google.co.uk" 'Change the links display text if desired. doc.Hyperlinks(i).TextToDisplay = "http://www.google.co.uk" End If Next Application.Run macroname:="NEWMACROS" ActiveDocument.Save ActiveDocument.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
This worked perfectly and saved me so much time. Thank you!
This comment was minimized by the moderator on the site
Hello, This worked great for the word in the body of the document but did not replace the same word in the header. Any ideas. Thanks
This comment was minimized by the moderator on the site
I want to change the format of the replaces text. i.e. "Pizza" has to be replaced with "Burger". How can it be achieved?
This comment was minimized by the moderator on the site
Big THX 4 the code... but also have that prblm with the headers... no change Thanks in advance
This comment was minimized by the moderator on the site
Thanks for posting this! I've run a couple tests and gotten it to work for me; however, it's not working on text in headers and footers for some reason. Is there a fix for this?
This comment was minimized by the moderator on the site
I am sorry but I have no idea re the headers or the format. It was not something I needed to include in my code. I had never used this before myself and the code I posted was taken from the original code above and then tweeked using code found in other searches until it worked. I am sorry I cant be of more help.
This comment was minimized by the moderator on the site
I've been testing it for the last few minutes and it's really a wonder, thank you! I need to perform several 'find and replace' routines for several files. Dozens of routines for dozens of files. Is there a way to 'save' the module so I don't need to paste it again on the VBA screen every time I need to perform a new routine?
This comment was minimized by the moderator on the site
Is it possible to tweak this macro to perform multiple 'find and replace' stances at once? There are several words and phareses I need to replace and as of now I need to reinsert the VBA code for every instance. I'm a noob regarding those things
This comment was minimized by the moderator on the site
This code has saved so much time for me... so, thanks! One thing though - is there any way to increase the number of words that the macro finds/replaces? I need to find/replace multiple paragraphs at once and the macro seems to have a limit of approximately 200 characters.
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