How to Find and Replace Text in Google Docs: A Step-by-Step Guide

To find and replace text in Google Docs, simply go to the “Edit” menu, select “Find and replace,” type the word you’re looking for in the “Find” field, type your new desired text in the “Replace with” field, and then click on “Replace” or “Replace all” to make your changes. After completing these steps, any instances of the text you wanted to change will be updated with your new text.

After you complete the find and replace action in Google Docs, all instances of the word or phrase you were looking to change will have been updated to the new text you entered. This can help you quickly make multiple changes without having to go through your document and manually update each instance.


Have you ever been working on a document in Google Docs and realized you’ve been spelling a word wrong the whole time? Or maybe you decided to change a character’s name halfway through your novel? We’ve all been there, and the thought of going through the entire document to find and replace every single instance can be daunting. But don’t worry, Google Docs has a nifty feature that can do the heavy lifting for you.

Finding and replacing text in Google Docs is a simple but powerful tool that can save you a ton of time and effort. Whether you’re a student, a professional, or just someone who likes to keep their documents error-free, this feature is relevant to you. It’s not just about correcting mistakes either; maybe you need to update facts or figures in a report, or you want to make sure a particular term is used consistently throughout your text. Whatever the reason, mastering the find and replace function can make your life a lot easier.

Find and Replace Tutorial in Google Docs

Before we dive into the steps, let’s understand what we’re about to do. The find and replace functionality in Google Docs allows you to search for specific words or phrases in your document and replace them with new text. It’s a great tool for making bulk changes without scrolling through your entire document.

Step 1: Go to the ‘Edit’ Menu

Open the ‘Edit’ menu at the top of your Google Docs page.

In the ‘Edit’ menu, you’ll find various options, but for our purposes, you’ll want to click on “Find and replace.”

Step 2: Enter the Text to Find

Type the word or phrase you want to find in the ‘Find’ field.

Make sure you spell the word exactly as it appears in the document to ensure an accurate search.

Step 3: Enter the Replacement Text

Type the new word or phrase you want to replace it with in the ‘Replace with’ field.

This is what will replace the text you’re looking to change, so double-check for typos!

Step 4: Click ‘Replace’ or ‘Replace All’

Decide whether to replace one instance or all instances of the text.

If you click “Replace,” it will only change the first instance. Clicking “Replace all” will update every instance of the text in your document.


Time-savingThe find and replace feature saves time by allowing you to make multiple changes at once, rather than manually updating each instance.
ConsistencyIt helps maintain consistency throughout your document, ensuring the same term or spelling is used every time.
VersatilityThis function can be used for various purposes, from correcting errors to updating information in reports.


Potential for ErrorsIf not used carefully, you might replace text that you didn’t intend to change, leading to errors.
Case SensitivityThe search function is case-sensitive, so you have to be precise with your capitalization when searching for words.
Limited ScopeFind and replace only works within a single document and cannot be used across multiple documents at once.

Additional Information

When using the find and replace feature in Google Docs, there are a few additional things to keep in mind. First, you can use keyboard shortcuts to open the find and replace tool quickly. For Windows and Linux users, the shortcut is Ctrl + H, and for Mac users, it’s Command + Shift + H. This can make the process even faster.

Another tip is that you can use the find and replace function to change formatting. For example, if you want to make every instance of a certain word bold, you can do this using the “format” option in the find and replace window. This can be a real game-changer when it comes to formatting large documents.

Finally, remember that the find and replace tool in Google Docs also allows you to match case and match using regular expressions for more advanced searches. These options can be very useful for more precise editing.


  1. Go to the ‘Edit’ menu.
  2. Enter the text you want to find in the ‘Find’ field.
  3. Enter the replacement text in the ‘Replace with’ field.
  4. Click ‘Replace’ or ‘Replace all’ to make your changes.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I undo a find and replace action in Google Docs?

Yes, you can undo a find and replace action by pressing Ctrl + Z (Cmd + Z on Mac) immediately after you make the change.

Will find and replace work with images or shapes?

No, find and replace only works with text. Images and shapes will not be affected by this feature.

Can I find and replace text in a specific part of the document?

Yes, you can highlight the section you want to search in, then open the find and replace tool to make changes only in that section.

Is there a way to replace text with different formatting?

Yes, use the ‘format’ option in the find and replace tool to change the formatting of the replaced text.

Can I use find and replace on the Google Docs mobile app?

The find and replace feature is not available on the Google Docs mobile app. You’ll need to use the desktop version to access this feature.


In conclusion, the find and replace feature in Google Docs is an incredibly useful tool that can streamline the editing process, ensure consistency, and save you a whole lot of time. Whether you’re working on an academic paper, a business report, or a personal project, knowing how to quickly and efficiently find and replace text can make a huge difference in your workflow.

With the ability to make bulk changes and even update formatting, this feature is something every Google Docs user should be familiar with. So, the next time you need to make widespread changes to your document, give the find and replace tool a try – you won’t regret it!

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