Monday, May 11, 2009

Highlight all the acronyms in a Word document

A tip of the hat to Lifehacker for pointing this out.

Ever been nailed by a reviewer or a thesis committee for using too many acronyms without defining them well? There's an easy way built into MS Word to find and highlight all the acronyms in a document. It's a nice check after you're done with a first draft, and you might be surprised by how many you find!

First, hit Ctrl-F to bring up a find box, and type this in exactly as written:

<[A-Z]{2,}>

Hit the "More >>" button, then check the "Use Wildcards" box. Finally, click the "Reading Highlight" box, then click "Highlight All". It should look like this:



After you do that, you'll see all your uppercase acronyms highlighted throughout the entire document. It will look something like this:



That find query basically tries to find any two or more adjacent capital letters. See the original article referenced above and the comments below it for more similar wildcard search tricks, like how to extend this idea to include numbers, or using regular expressions.

1 comment:

  1. open office, baby...
    http://www.oooforum.org/forum/viewtopic.phtml?t=82852
    :)

    ReplyDelete

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Getting Genetics Done by Stephen Turner is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 3.0 Unported License.