How to Select All Matching Text in Google Docs: Tips and Tricks

Selecting all matching text in Google Docs is a simple task that can save you time when editing. It involves using the ‘Find and replace’ feature to quickly locate and select every instance of a particular word or phrase in your document. This way, you can make bulk changes without the need to manually find each occurrence.

After completing this action, all instances of the text you searched for will be highlighted throughout the document. You can then perform various actions such as replacing the text with something else, changing its formatting, or even deleting it all at once.


Have you ever found yourself needing to change a specific word or phrase throughout a lengthy Google Docs document? This task can seem daunting, especially if the text appears multiple times across many pages. Thankfully, Google Docs offers a handy feature called ‘Find and replace’ that allows you to select all matching text in your document with just a few clicks.

This feature is particularly important for anyone who works with large documents on a regular basis. Whether you’re an editor, a writer, a student, or just someone who likes their documents to be error-free, knowing how to select all matching text can save you a significant amount of time. It’s also incredibly relevant for those working in teams, as it helps maintain consistency across collaborative documents. So, let’s dive into the steps you need to follow to master this time-saving trick.

Step by Step Tutorial: Selecting all Matching Text in Google Docs

Before we get into the specifics, it’s important to know that following these steps will allow you to quickly modify an entire document without the hassle of manually searching for each word or phrase.

Step 1: Open the ‘Find and replace’ tool

Open the ‘Find and replace’ tool by clicking on ‘Edit’ in the menu bar and selecting ‘Find and replace’, or by using the shortcut Ctrl+H (Cmd+H on Mac).

This tool is your gateway to quickly locating and selecting specific text within your Google Docs document. It’s a simple yet powerful feature that anyone can use.

Step 2: Enter the text you want to select

Type the word or phrase you want to select in the ‘Find’ field of the ‘Find and replace’ dialog box.

Make sure you enter the text exactly as it appears in the document to ensure all instances are found.

Step 3: Use the ‘Find’ option to locate the text

Click on the ‘Find’ button to start the search. Google Docs will highlight all instances of the text in your document.

As you click ‘Find’, you’ll notice the text you’re searching for becomes highlighted in the document. This visual cue helps you verify that you’re selecting the correct text.

Step 4: Select all matching text

To select all matching text, click on the ‘All’ button in the ‘Find and replace’ dialog box.

By clicking ‘All’, every instance of the text you searched for will be selected, allowing you to perform bulk actions on it.


Saves TimeSelecting all matching text with just a few clicks is much faster than manually searching and selecting each instance.
Reduces ErrorsIt ensures consistency across the document, reducing the chance of missing an occurrence of the text that needs changing.
Increases EfficiencyIt allows for bulk changes, such as formatting or replacing text, without the need for repetitive actions.


Over-relianceSolely relying on ‘Find and replace’ can lead to mistakes if the text contains variations you didn’t account for.
Limited ContextIt selects text based on exact matches, which might disregard the context surrounding the text.
Potential OverwritingThere’s a risk of accidentally overwriting important text if not careful with the ‘Replace’ feature.

Additional Information

When working on a shared document, it’s important to communicate with your collaborators before making bulk changes using ‘Find and replace’. You wouldn’t want to make changes that affect the overall message or the work of others without prior agreement. Additionally, always double-check the changes you make. While Google Docs will select all instances of the text, it can’t discern context, so it’s up to you to ensure the correct text is being altered.

Remember to explore the additional options in the ‘Find and replace’ dialog box. For instance, you can match case to ensure you’re only selecting instances that have the same capitalization as your search term. You can also use regular expressions (regex) for more advanced search patterns, which can be incredibly powerful when you need to select text that follows a specific format.


  1. Open the ‘Find and replace’ tool.
  2. Enter the text you want to select.
  3. Use the ‘Find’ option to locate the text.
  4. Click on ‘All’ to select all matching text.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I replace selected text with something else?

Yes, once you’ve selected all matching text, you can type your desired replacement in the ‘Replace with’ field and click ‘Replace all’ to make the change throughout the document.

Is there a way to select matching text with different capitalization?

Yes, by clicking on the ‘Match case’ option in the ‘Find and replace’ dialog box, you can make your search case-sensitive.

Can I undo changes made using ‘Find and replace’?

Absolutely. Just like any other action in Google Docs, you can undo changes by pressing Ctrl+Z (Cmd+Z on Mac) or by clicking the ‘Undo’ button.

Will ‘Find and replace’ work with special characters?

Yes, you can use ‘Find and replace’ to search for special characters. Additionally, using regex can enhance your search for more complex patterns.

Can I use ‘Find and replace’ on Google Docs mobile app?

The mobile app has a ‘Find and replace’ feature, though it may have limited capabilities compared to the desktop version.


Mastering the skill of selecting all matching text in Google Docs is a game-changer, particularly for those who deal with text-heavy documents. It not only saves time but also ensures consistency and accuracy throughout your work. As with any powerful tool, it’s important to use it wisely and double-check your changes to maintain the integrity of your document.

Now that you know how to select all matching text, you’re well-equipped to tackle your next editing challenge with confidence and efficiency. Keep practicing, and soon, you’ll be a Google Docs pro!

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