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Easily Find All the Acronyms in Your Word Documents

I spent a few years in the Air Force before becoming a highly paid blogger. And back at the NROC, I used to need to file WCA reports whenever there was a WAM event (or, obviously, if the WAMR triggered a TDD warning). Indeed, it was tense, but when a CCA would go redline and the duty sergeant would misinterpret it as a GLAS, we'd laugh and laugh.

If you write documents chock full of acronyms like those and would love a way to automatically find them all using Word's Find tool, I've got great news for you. Lifehacker has the scoop on how to teach Find and Replace to highlight acronyms.


Here's all you need to do:

  1. In Word, Open the Find window (Ctrl + F)
  2. Click More and then check the box labeled Use Wildcards
  3. In the Find What field, enter this phrase: <[A-Z]{2,}>
  4. Click Reading Highlight, and then click Highlight All.
All your acronyms -- or specifically, two or more letters in all-caps -- will appear highlighted in yellow. You can then scrape them off the page to make a glossary, for example, or assess if you really want to write a document that looks like your Caps Lock key is stuck.
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