Use Ctrl+F to Search Data with Ease

If you’re confused about what CTRL+F is, you are not alone – according to Dan Russell, a search anthropologist at Google, 90% of people do not know how to properly use CTRL+F to locate a word in a document or on a webpage. This tool will save you time and the embarrassment of missing a keyword or phrase that should’ve been replaced. Whether you are using your browser or your word processor, CTRL+F will speed your work up immensely.

Ctrl+ F works wherever you are: web browsers (Google Chrome, Firefox, Safari, etc.) word processing programs (Microsoft Word, WordPerfect, etc.), or  PDFs viewers like Acrobat Reader. Pressing the keyboard keys “CTRL” (“Command” on a Mac) and “F” at the same time will help you find any specific phrase, clause, or word you are looking for by typing them into a box that appears on your screen. The “find” box may appear in different locations on the screen depending on which program you are using – but it will always appear.

In A Web Browser

When searching through an online document or a webpage for specific mention of a word, phrase, or number, CTRL+F can save a lot of time. Simply press the keys CTRL and F and enter the desired term, phrase, number, word, or clause into the Find box that appears. In Internet Explorer your search term will be highlighted and each time you select “Find Next” the search will move through the document highlighting the usage of the designated word, number, or phrase.


Click to enlarge.

For instance, say you need to find the contact information for a specific judge in the Criminal Division of the Circuit Court of Cook County, but you only know that his first name is John. Go to the court’s website listing of judges in this division, and then you can use CTRL+F to accelerate your search. Enter “John” in the search bar and press <Enter>. The search will bring you directly to any mention of “John” on the page. Pressing <Enter> again will bring you to the next entry of “John” on the page if there is one.

In Microsoft Word

When working in Microsoft Word, CTRL+F opens the Navigation pane and you can search for a word, phrase or number. You will see all of the instances of your search term appear in the Navigation pane with the word in bold and can quickly jump to that portion of the document. Take it one step further and use the Navigation pane to find a word or phrase – and then replace it! From the Navigation pane click on the “carat” (arrow) to open a toolbar with more options, including Replace.


For example, the client’s total damages have increased and a complaint must be updated before filing suit. Rather than locating each time the initial damages are mentioned within the complaint by scrolling through the document, you can quickly make the corrections by using CTRL+F. Just key CTRL+F,  type in the original dollar amount, click on the carat to show Options and click on Replace. The original amount will appear in “Find What”. You can then add the updated amount in the “Replace With” field. If you want to replace any incident of the number, phrase, or word in the “Find What” field, select “Replace All.”


There may be cases where you do not want to “Replace All” but only “Replace” some. For example, a brief cites Wickard v. Filburn in several locations, however sometimes the citation is not as appropriate as that of say, Horne v. Dept. of Agriculture.

“Replace All” would not work in this example because the initial phrase of “Wickard v. Filburn” would still apply in many of its uses. Instead, select “Replace” and let the find feature bring you through the entire document. When you find items you would like to replace, select “Replace” again; when you find items you want to leave as is, select “Find Next” and move on.



Once you get comfortable using CTRL+F in your searches and writing, you’ll wonder what took you so long to learn this important skill.

June Technology Training

learn lead keysFree How To… Sessions (Non-CLE)

CBA How To… sessions are crafted to provide you with an overview of a particular product, service or solution to a common law practice management question. These classes are delivered live, and via webcast online.

Tuesday, June 3rd, 2014 

How To…Master Time Management With Technology 
Time: 1:45 PM – 2:45 PM
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Tuesday, June 10th, 2014 

How To…Go To Cloud 9 With Clio 
Time: 1:45 PM – 2:45 PM
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Tuesday, June 17th, 2014 

How To…Use LastPass To Protect Yourself and Your Data
Time: 1:45 PM – 2:45 PM
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Tuesday, June 24th, 2014 

How To…Self Examine Your Online Marketing
Time: 10:00 AM – 1:00 PM
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Tuesday, June 24th, 2014 

How To…Navigate SEO
Time: 1:45 PM – 2:45 PM
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Hands On Training (Non-CLE) $25.00 for CBA Members 

CBA Hands On Training classes are small group learning sessions open to all skill levels.Chelsey Lambert or Catherine Sanders Reach will lead you through a one hour course designed to equip you with the skills you need to accomplish or improve daily tasks.

Click on the follow dates/times for a full description and registration information.

Creating a Monthly Email NewsletterJune 5, 2014 from 3:00-4:00 p.m. | June 19, 2014 from 4:00-5:00 p.m.

Optimizing Your LinkedIn ProfileMay 28, 2014 from 4:00-5:00 p.m. | June 4, 2014 from 4:00-5:00 p.m.

Microsoft Word BasicsJune 25, 2014/3:00-4:00 p.m.

Microsoft Word IntermediateJune 25, 2014/4:00-5:00 p.m.

Intermediate  Adobe Acrobat for LawyersMay 22, 2014 from 11:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.

Google Search Like a ProMay 29, 2014 from 3:00-4:00 p.m.

Creating a Facebook Page for Your Law FirmJune 4, 2014 from 3:00-4:00 p.m. | June 11, 2014 from 3:00-4:00 p.m.

Google+ for BusinessJune 11, 2014 from 4:00-5:00 p.m.

MS Outlook Essentials – BasicsJune 12, 2014 from 11:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.

Using Mircrosoft OneNote for Project ManagementJune 18, 2014 from 3:00-4:00 p.m.

Evernote for OrganizationJune 18, 2014 from 4:00-5:00 p.m.

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Take advantage of the CBA’s free How To… video library. Every how To… session is recorded and available one to two weeks after the session’s original air date.