Writer is the OpenOffice.org’s equivalent of Microsoft Word.
OpenOffice is a free, open source, productivity suite of applications, that is comparable to Microsoft Office. OpenOffice includes a word processor, called Writer, which is comparable to Microsoft Word. With Writer, many of the same tasks can be done as in Word.
What is Find and Replace
Find and Replace is a tool that can be used to find a word, words, a phrase, string of text, or anything else in a document. This is a great time-saver when searching for specific wording within a very large document. The replace function will not only find what has been identified but also replace it with something else; this is another great time-saver.
Find and Replace is a handy tool that is available in both Writer and Word. To open the Find and Replace dialog in Writer, choose Edit > Find & Replace from the main menu. Only a minor difference between Word, which separates find and replace under the edit menu. If keyboard shortcuts are preferred, Ctrl + F will open the dialog in both Writer and Word. A third option, Go to, is available in Word but not Writer.
Using Find and Replace
For example, if within a document the word cat needs to be replaced with the word dog, and this document is 50 pages long, with hundreds of occurrences of the word cat. To individually delete and replace each occurrence of cat with dog would be very labour-intensive. Instead, you would use the Find & Replace function.
How to use Find & Replace:
From the main menu, click Edit > Find & Replace or keyboard shortcut Ctrl + F
In the box labelled Search for, type the word cat
In the box labelled Replace with, type the word dog
To replace only one occurrence, click the Replace button
To replace all occurrences, click the Replace All button
The Find & Replace dialog in Writer does not have separate tabs for find and replace as in Word. The Writer dialog is one stop shopping, in that both find and/or replace can be utilised here. At the bottom left corner is a button for More Options. When clicked, the Find & Replace dialog will expand to show more choices to refine searches or replacement options.
Within more options, a more refined search can be performed. The search can be limited to the current selection only, backwards or regular expressions, similarity search, search for styles or notes. A specific format can be applied to any replacements, by clicking the Format button and choosing the desired format.
Find & Replace is a great time-saver. With this function, searching through lengthy documents becomes less cumbersome. Also replacing items, particularly if there are many, within a document is less tedious.