The Navigation Pane in Word 2010 allows you to jump around your document in several ways. You can use it to find text, Word objects, such as tables and graphics, and to jump to specific headings and pages.

We have previously shown you how to jump around your Word document using bookmarks. This article shows you how to use the Navigation Pane to move around your document in multiple ways.

To open the Navigation Pane, click the Find button in the Editing group on the Home tab, or press Ctrl + F.

The Navigation pane opens on the left side of the Word window, by default. In the edit box at the top of the pane, enter the word or phrase you want to find. The results should display automatically. If they don’t, press Enter or click the magnifying glass button to the right of the edit box.

A small thumbnail displays for each occurrence found for the word or phrase entered. To jump to an occurrence, click on the appropriate thumbnail. Every occurrence of the word or phrase is temporarily highlighted on the screen, as well, allowing you to quickly spot the text for which you are searching.

NOTE: Moving your mouse over a thumbnail tells you on which page that occurrence can be found.

You can also search for Word objects and document elements, such as graphics, tables, equations, footnotes, endnotes, and comments. To do this, click the down arrow on the right side of the search edit box. Under Find, select the type of object you want from the drop-down menu.

There are several options you can set to customize the Find feature. To set these options, click the down arrow to the right of the Search edit box again and select Options from the drop-down menu.

The Find Options dialog box displays. Select check boxes to turn on or off specific options. If you want your selections to be the default options, click Set As Default. Click OK to accept your changes and close the dialog box.

The Match case option allows you to find your text exactly how you typed it. For example, if you typed “Mode,” then “mode” will not be found.

When you search for text, all occurrences of it are found whether it is a word by itself or part of another word. For example, if you search for “begin,” occurrences of the word “beginning” would also display in the results. You can prevent this by selecting Find whole words only.

You can also use wildcards in your search by selecting the Use wildcards option. For instance, if you enter “c?i,” the results would display all words or portions of words that contain “c” as the first letter and “i” as the third letter. All other letters can vary. You can find a list of available wildcard characters on Microsoft’s site here.

NOTE: When you click OK to close the Options dialog box, the last search you did is cleared and the cursor is moved to the beginning of the document. If you click Cancel, the search is not cleared.

To easily navigate to each occurrence of the word or phrase, forwards in the document, click the down arrow (Next Search Result) button to the right of the three tabs below the Search edit box. The up arrow takes you to the previous search result, backwards in the document.

NOTE: The Next and Previous buttons can also be used to navigate to the next and previous Word object, if that is what you have selected to find.

If you have used the built-in heading styles in Word to define the sections of your document, you can easily jump to the different sections using the first (Browse the headings in your document) tab.

NOTE: This tab can also be used to easily reorganize your document.

Click the next tab to the right (Browse the pages in your document) to display thumbnails of all the pages in your document. Click on a page to quickly jump to that page.

If you would rather use the classic Find and Replace dialog box, click the down arrow to the right of the Search edit box and select Advanced Find from the drop-down menu.

The Find and Replace dialog box displays. This dialog box is similar to the one you’ve seen in previous versions of Word. The options from the Find Options dialog box are available by clicking the More button. You can also select to find certain formats, such as text formatted with a specific font or paragraph style. Clicking the Special button allows you to search for many special characters and marks.

You can also access the Replace tab or the Go To tab directly using the same drop-down menu on the Navigation Pane that opened the Find tab on the Find and Replace dialog box.

NOTE: The Replace tab adds a Replace with edit box below the Find what edit box on the Find tab.

The Go To tab on the Find and Replace dialog box allows you to jump to specific page numbers, sections, lines, or other document parts and objects.

You can also use the Go To tab to find Word objects and document elements, such as graphics or table, like the Navigation Pane. Select the desired item from the Go to what list. Click Go To once you have entered what you want to find.

To close the Navigation Pane, click the down arrow on the pane’s title bar and select Close from the drop-down menu. You can also use that menu to move and resize the pane.

NOTE: You can also close the pane using the X button to the right of the down arrow on the pane’s title bar.

Microsoft has improved the search and navigation features in Word 2010, making it easier to move around in your document and find text, styles, special characters, and document elements.

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Lori Kaufman is a technology expert with 25 years of experience. She's been a senior technical writer, worked as a programmer, and has even run her own multi-location business.
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