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

Finding and replacing text in a Google Doc can be a real time-saver, especially when you’re dealing with a lengthy document. Instead of manually searching for each instance of a word or phrase, you can use the “Find and Replace” feature to make the changes quickly and efficiently. Here’s how you can do it in just a few simple steps.

Step by Step Tutorial: Find and Replace in Google Docs

Before we dive into the steps, let’s get a clear picture of what we’re about to do. The “Find and Replace” feature in Google Docs allows you to search for specific text and replace it with something else throughout the entire document. This is great for correcting repeated errors or updating information.

Step 1: Open the Find and Replace tool

To start, go to the “Edit” menu and select “Find and replace.”

Once you click on “Find and replace,” a dialog box will pop up. This is where you’ll enter the text you want to find and what you want to replace it with.

Step 2: Enter the text to find

In the “Find” field, type the word or phrase you want to search for in your document.

Make sure you’ve spelled the text correctly to ensure the tool finds all instances in the document.

Step 3: Enter the replacement text

In the “Replace with” field, type the new text that you want to replace the old text with.

If you’re correcting a mistake, double-check the replacement text for accuracy before proceeding.

Step 4: Choose your replace options

Decide if you want to replace one instance at a time or all instances at once. Then click “Replace” or “Replace all.”

If you choose “Replace,” the tool will only replace the currently highlighted instance. If you choose “Replace all,” it will change every instance of the text throughout the document.

Step 5: Review your changes

After you’ve made your replacements, take a moment to review the document to ensure that all changes are correct.

It’s always a good idea to read through the document after using “Find and Replace” to make sure no unwanted changes were made.

After completing these steps, you’ll have successfully updated your Google Doc. The “Find and Replace” tool is a powerful feature that can save you a ton of time and ensure consistency throughout your document.

Tips for Using Find and Replace in Google Docs

  • Use case-sensitive search when it matters. If you’re looking for a specific word with capitalization, make sure to check the “Match case” option in the “Find and replace” dialog box.
  • Use the “Match using regular expressions” option for a more advanced search. This is for users who are familiar with regex and want to perform more complex searches.
  • Remember to undo if you make a mistake. If you accidentally replace the wrong text, you can always use the undo function (Ctrl + Z or Command + Z) to revert the changes.
  • Use the “Find” feature alone when you just want to locate text without replacing it. This can help you quickly navigate to specific parts of your document.
  • Be cautious when replacing common words or phrases. It’s easy to unintentionally make sweeping changes that affect the meaning of your text.

Frequently Asked Questions

What if I only want to replace some instances, not all?

You can choose to replace instances one by one by clicking “Replace” instead of “Replace all.” This way, you can review each occurrence before making a change.

Can I find and replace text in multiple Google Docs at once?

No, the “Find and Replace” feature works within a single document. For multiple documents, you’ll need to repeat the process for each one.

Is there a shortcut to open the “Find and Replace” dialog box?

Yes, you can press Ctrl + H (or Command + H on a Mac) to open the dialog box quickly.

Can I use “Find and Replace” on a mobile device?

Yes, although the interface might differ slightly, you can still access the “Find and Replace” feature in the Google Docs app on mobile devices.

How do I close the “Find and Replace” dialog box?

Once you’re done, you can click the “X” in the upper right corner of the dialog box, or simply press the “Escape” key on your keyboard.


  1. Open the “Find and Replace” tool from the “Edit” menu.
  2. Type the text you want to find in the “Find” field.
  3. Enter the new text in the “Replace with” field.
  4. Choose “Replace” or “Replace all” based on your needs.
  5. Review the changes in your document.


Mastering the “Find and Replace” feature in Google Docs can significantly enhance your editing efficiency. Whether you’re a student revising an essay, a professional updating a report, or just someone who likes their documents neat and error-free, this tool is incredibly handy. With the ability to quickly locate and update text, you’ll save time and avoid the frustration of manual editing. Just remember to review your changes to ensure accuracy, and don’t hesitate to use the tips provided for an even smoother experience. Next time you’re faced with a hefty editing task, just remember how to find and replace in Google Docs, and you’ll tackle it with ease.

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