It’s not all about the journey: in the search for … (Part 2)

In Part 1 of this series we looked at refining search results when seeking out specific content within your Word document. Part 2 focuses on sifting through your results using the Navigation pane tabs (Headings | Pages | Results).

If you’re a Word 2010 user, you have the same Navigation tabs, however shown as icons (not words). They’re in exactly the same sequence but if you’re unsure, simply hover over the icon and wait for the ScreenTip to appear.

So which tab should you work with? Well, this essentially comes down to what you’re looking for and the way in which you work, but here are a few things to consider.


  • Use the Headings tab to immediately drill down to a section you know needs to be amended or reviewed in light of your search, by clicking on the relevant heading.
  • Each of the headings that contain matches for your search item is highlighted in yellow.
  • This tab only displays search results if your document contains headings that have been formatted using Styles.
  • Note: the Headings tab has heaps more functionality than simply finding matches for your search item – we’ll look at that in greater detail in another post.


  • Only pages that contain a match for the search item will have a thumbnail showing within the Pages tab.
  • This tab is better suited to searching for items such as graphics, tables, etc, as results can be seen more clearly within the thumbnail of the page than text search results would be.

Results (my preferred method)

  • The Results tab provides matches for the search item in context, making it an effective way to decide whether you need to make a change to the specific instance without having to navigate to it within the document.
  • When searching for graphics, tables, etc, Word will not list matches within the Results tab – you’ll need to refer to the Headings or Pages tab instead.

Regardless of the tab you decide to work with, there’s a number of ways to move through entries within the results listing, as follows:

  • Press the Enter key;
  • Click on the search match;
  • Click on the up / down arrows (located above tab headings).

You’ll notice that matches for your search item are highlighted in yellow within the body of your document. When you select a specific search result, this will be highlighted in grey.