Find Tool – Microsoft Office’s neglected but powerful tool

Microsoft Office is a well-known tool by a large portion of people who use PC (Personal computer) just because of its popularity. It is composed of suites as we discussed in the last post.

Its applications have thousands of tools and primary ones are very common, once you use one of Microsoft applications and you go in another you will be like Wow!… I know this, this and that too.

No doubt, because I know a bunch of similar tools in Word, Excel, PPT and so on…It should not be a surprise next time you see it and that’s what I like about Microsoft because if you know how like Word works, you are about 80% aware of the basics of Excel or PowerPoint.

Today I am going to discuss with you this common tool in Microsoft office — Find Tool. We are going to see its role, its composition and why you should not disregard to use it.

Seriously, in my first days with Microsoft Office you wouldn’t convince me what to do with find tool and of course I knew about nothing even though I could write a document and add some spices.

To be honest if I contrast I conclude that I wasn’t using the real Microsoft Office, but if you write a long document, find is going to be a crucial thing while revising.

What you need is to go along with this article, and you are going to understand something you didn’t know about this tool but you were missing so badly.

Avoid to be a left-behind like I have all the years, that’s why I am writing this so that you won’t waste time for something that’s not worth.

What is “Find”

This Find is a tool you find in Microsoft applications that helps you to find a text, a title or sentence in document. It helps you to avoid scrolling and wandering in the whole document searching.

This tool is located in “Home” tab. You recognize this tool in a symbol of a blue and white magnifying glass in the right upper corner of the application (Simply your you can refer to your PC).

Find is located at the right upper corner of the workspace in “Editing Ribbon”
Find locates at the right upper corner of the workspace in “Editing Ribbon”

Long way?… No way!

You might say, reaching Find button is a long way (even though it’s not that far) but don’t worry there is a shortcut you can use to bring it in an eye blink you need to hit “Ctrl + F” and you get a pane opened to the left side of the workspace or document.

But this pane only comes in Microsoft Word as an exception in other applications comes a popup window that you use to find.

But there is another exception, for example in excel this tool is not alone because it is grouped together with other tools.

I prefer to use shortcuts because they don’t take a lot of time than using a normal way. I have done a post about shortcuts, check this if you want adopt this way too.


In Microsoft Word you might see a pane on the left that pushes the paper of document (Writing space). So, let’s talk about this pane in details to know deeply the structure.

First when you see this pane you see the following parts:

  • Header and Title
  • Search bar
  • Tabs and text

Header and Title

Thetitle of pane is “NAVIGATION” that means you can navigate its components. Alongside the title there is a drop-down icon which has 3 components:

  • Move where you can put this navigation pane wherever you want in the document, but it is advisable to not put it above the document, otherwise it can hinder or make it difficult to you to work.
With Move you can move the pane wherever you want

  • Resize where you can give this pane a custom size both vertically and horizontally especially when you want to add other panes.
  • Close simply closes that pane in case you don’t want to use it at the time.

Alongside the drop-down you find a cross button, that’s a solo button that plays same role as the close in the drop-down.

Search bar

If you google or some search (you use search engines) this search design is familiar, for example looks like a home of google (a magnifying glass and an input field). This bar is a pillar of “Find” tool because it is where you put atext or sentence you are looking for in the document.

Find navigation pane (In MS Word)

Beside magnifying glass icon there is again a drop down that is composed of many other properties which are:

  •  Options:This helps you to make this search bring results according to your needs.
  • Advanced find:This property is very useful because it refines your search and create a more specified range of search results.
  • Replace:Replace helps you to replace a text in the document with other one of your choice without taking other time in deleting or highlighting (highlighting the whole text and delete it).
  • Go to:This command is so powerful! It helps you to jump straight at a certain part of the document without scrolling or finding a text. This also can help in case you have a word that comes often in your document, it will take time to reach a part you want but with “Go to” you can choose in a variety of components in the document example; Page, Section, Heading, Graphic, Table and so on. The good news is, this has a shortcut (Ctrl + G).
Go To… Option is powerful

  • Find graphics, tables, footnotes, equations and comments: These commands are essential in finding other components different from normal texts. They target specific components like graphs and equations.

Tabs and text

To move between tabs, you click at a tab you are going to use. Below search bar there are other three components that make makes find pane:


Headings tab works if your document is structured and has headings. For many people who write books and theses it is advisable to use this feature because it helps to make efficient edits without delays.

Headings tab


With this, you navigate by pages for example if you have a document of hundreds of pages; imagine scrolling to the last page, it is exhausting and wasting of time too.

Pages help you to indicating which page to go to. When you click a certain page number it is straightforward, takes you to that page immediately.

Moreover, there is preview of pages on this tab so that you can recognize the page you are looking for.

Pages tab display pictures of pages of a document


Results are just results of the word or text you searched. In this tab results are displayed while typing, it means search is sensitive to typewriting.

It also highlights the content in the document, every text you select in the search jumps where to a respective paragraph and page.

Results highlights all texts contain the keyword

What happens if you don’t use “Find”?

Of course, nothing but there is a loss – believe me there is a great loss. For me as a principle, time gives everything as it takes away everything that’s what happens.

You don’t lose your data or any what but if you don’t use this find tool in case you have a large data (in Excel), a long book you are writing (in Word) or a long presentation (in PowerPoint) you will use scrolling but this will decrease the time frame you would have covered using professional ways.

Then, think how exhausting it is to scroll from page 1 to page 400 looking for a single sentence? No doubt, it is like reading a whole document. But if you use “FIND”, this isn’t even going to take 5 sec including typing.


Find tool is located in the right corner of the application (Word, Excel, PPT, Publisher,…) in the “Editing” Ribbon together with other tools.

Find is easy to open, you either click on its icon or use shortcut “Ctrl + F” and it takes you directly to search. Microsoft Word and Publisher have two different ways of displaying Find either by side pane or a popup window.

And this tool is very wide, it has functions that applies according to your needs including filters and a powerful function of “Go to” that you can access through a shortcut of “Ctrl + G”. We have said every single detail of this tool which shows how interesting it is.

You are free to go back and read to be familiar with it and make some exercises about it because it is worth priority.


I can say, since I knew this tool my workflow is no more being wasted by process of scrolling no matter how many pages or data to process, it totally easy.

The time to navigate the document is very short, my advice is that you can adopt this tool to avoid meaningless waste of time and unproductive exhaustion.

To be honest, if you use this technique you are going to make an improvement on how productive you are in writing your documents – if you already use it, may this article is going to boost your potential to continue the track and even increase the frequency of use.

Question: Was “Find” your favorite tool in Microsoft Office? Before adopting it, how were you coping with large documents?Share us your experience in the comment. Thanks for reading!

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  1. Back in the day, MS Office was my productivity. My best packages were PowerPoint, Paint and Publisher. The truth, I've never used Find. Thanks for bringing it up.

  2. I have been using Ctrl + F for some time now, but suchva detailed usage of this tool is kinda new to me. Enlightening post.

  3. As the post says, people are not using the tool. By the way, I like Paint and PowerPoint but not really for Publisher.

  4. Yes, that's right you got it. Because many people works so fast they don't get time to learn about tools. That's why we are here!