Scanning a document into Google Docs can be tricky if you need to find a specific word.
This can become more difficult if the document contains multiple pages.
Fortunately, Google Docs has a tool, whether on your computer or smartphone, that you can use to quickly look up words.
You can search for a word in Google Docs by opening a document, pressing Ctrl + F (Windows) or Cmd + F (Mac), typing a word or phrase into the search field, and then searching for the word highlighted in green.
How to search for a word or phrase in Google Docs
- Open a document.
- Click Change.
- Select Find and Replace.
- Enter a word or phrase in the search field.
Our guide continues below with more information on how to search for a word in Google Docs, including images of the steps.
Many of the applications that you use on your computer provide you with the ability to search through content.
Google Docs is no different and they have a search tool built into their software listing.
One version of this tool can be accessed using the keyboard shortcut Ctrl + F, which will open the search tool in many other applications, while there is another version of the tool that you can find through the menu at the top of the window.
Related: Check out our subscription article if you’d like to learn more about using the subscription format in Google Docs.
How to use the Google Docs search tool on Windows
The steps in this article were done on a Windows 11 laptop using the Google Chrome web browser. These same steps will also work for other desktop web browsers such as Mozilla Firefox or Microsoft Edge.
Step 1: Sign in to Google Docs and open the document.
Step 2: Select the Edit tab in the upper left corner of the window.
Step 3: Select the Find and Replace option.
Note that you can also open this window with the keyboard shortcut Ctrl + H (Windows) or Cmd + H (Mac).
Step 4: Enter your search term in the search field.
The word or phrase will be highlighted in green. You can replace these words with something else by entering a value in the Replace field, or by clicking the Previous or Next buttons to cycle through instances of the word.
As mentioned earlier, you can also use the keyboard shortcut Ctrl + F (Windows) or Cmd + F (Mac) which will open a search box similar to the image below.
Alternatively, you can enter a search term in this field and then use the navigation controls in the popup to search for a word or phrase.
Now that you know how to search for a word in Google Docs, you can use this technique to find words to replace or correct.
The next section of this article discusses searching for words in the Google Docs iPhone app.
How to search for a word in a Google Doc on iPhone
If you’re editing a document in the mobile version of Docs on your iPhone, you can also use the Find and Replace tool.
Step 1: Open the Documents app, then open the file you want to find.
Step two: Click on the three dots in the upper right corner of the screen.
Step 3: Select the Find and Replace option from the column on the right side of the screen.
Step 4: Enter your search term in the box at the top of the screen.
You can use the arrows to the right of a term to view occurrences of that word, or you can use the Replace field and the button at the top of the keyboard to change these words.
This method is similar to the Android version of the app, which we will discuss in the next section.
How to search in the Google Docs app for Android
If you are an Android smartphone user who has the Google Docs app on your device, you can also search for information within your documents there.
The layout of the Android Documents app is very similar to that of the iPhone version.