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Find and Replace Words or Phrases

Did you write your entire novel using your sweetheart’s name, Peter, as the hero? And now Peter’s abandoned you and you want to change the hero’s name to Heathcliff? No problem:

  1. Go to the Edit menu, slide down to “Find,” then from the pop-out menu, choose “Find...,” or skip all that and press Command F.
  2. Find “Peter” and replace with “Heathcliff.”

If you create a lot of text in TextEdit, it will be worth your time to experiment with the options you see in the Find dialog box, as described below.

To replace:

  • Only the currently selected occurrence of the text, click “Replace.”
  • All occurrences of the text in the document, click “Replace All.”
  • All occurrences of the text in a block of selected text, hold down the Option key and click “In Selection” (it appears when the Option key is down).

To simultaneously select (but not replace):

  • All occurrences of the text, hold down the Control key; “Replace All” changes to “Select All.”
  • All occurrences in a block of selected text, hold down both the Control key and the Option key; “Replace All” changes to “In Selection.”
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