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Correcting a misspelled name in Word

Michael from Purchase, NY asks the following question by email this weekend:

I recently wrote a long letter to my lawyer recounting a car accident I was in. Afterwards I had saw I had misspelled the person’s name who hit me. I was very annoyed because I had used the name a lot and it took a long time to correct them all. Is there a fast way to correct mistakes like this?

The feature you’re looking for is called “Find and Replace”. In Microsoft Word 2007 you will find “Replace” on the “Home” tab. In older versions of Microsoft Word (Word 2003, Word 2002 (XP), Word 2000, etc.) , you will find “Replace” on the “Edit” menu.  Either way, you can use the keyboard combination of “CTRL” + “H”.


  1. Highlight the misspelled word or name.
  2. Hold the “CTRL” key with one hand, and while holding it, tap the “H” key with your other hand. The “Find and Replace” dialog box will appear. The highlighted word or name will appear in the “Find” box.
  3. In the “Replace with” box, type the correct spelling of the word or name.
  4. Then click “Replace all”.

If you prefer to use the “Edit” menu, at step 2 click “Edit”  then “Replace”; or in Microsoft Word 2007, click “Replace” on the “Home” tab.

If for some reason you don’t want to change all the instanaces of the misspelled word, at step 4 you can use the “Find Next” and “Replace” buttons. For example, two people with a similar sounding name, but with different spellings.