How to Find Every Unicode Greek Character in Microsoft Word

I may need to change the typeface of every Greek word in my dissertation from Gentium Book to Gentium Plus. That would take a while if I had to do it manually.

I’m going to show you instead how you can do it automatically. I’m going to take you through all my steps to show you how I got the answer, not just what the answer is, starting with step zero. (Sorry, this is just for Windows users right now—I haven’t tried it in Word for Mac because I don’t have it.)

0. Your Greek characters have to be in Unicode already. (For switching BibleWorks Greek to Unicode, use the Word macro that came with BibleWorks—or beg me and I’ll write a post on that.)

1. Open Character Map and check “Advanced View.” Choose the “Unicode” character set from the dropdown box.

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2. Now choose “Unicode Subrange” from the “Group by” dropdown box.

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3. Choose “Greek” from the little box that pops up. This will show you all the Greek characters in Unicode.

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4. Select the very first character in the top left corner, the “Combining Greek Perispomeni” and hit the “Select” button.

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5. Now do the same for the very last character at the bottom right (make sure to scroll down to see it), the “Greek Dasia.”

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6. After you’ve hit “Select,” hit “Copy” to copy both characters.

7. Now go to your Word document and hit Ctrl+H for the Find and Replace dialogue.

8. Hit the “More” button and make sure to check “Use wildcards.”

9. Paste the two characters you copied from Character Map into the Find box (Ctrl+V).

10. Now surround those two characters with brackets and put a hyphen in between them. The Find and Replace dialogue should look like this:

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Now Word will find every character in between those two—in other words, all the Greek characters there are.

11. Make sure not to have anything in the “Replace with” box, not even a space.

12. Click inside the “Replace with” box and then choose the “Format” button. Choose whatever font or character or paragraph style you want.

13. Click “Replace All” if you think you did it all correctly!

14. Smile.

15. Check your document to make sure you didn’t mess up.

That’s it. The same principle will work for any subrange in Unicode—or make your own subrange like [A-Z] for capital letters or [0-9] for numbers.

Mark Ward

PhD in NT; theological writer for Faithlife; former high school Bible textbook author for BJU Press; husband; father; ultimate frisbee player; member of the body of Christ.

8 Comments

  1. Phil Gons on July 31, 2011 at 2:10 am

    If you make sure to tag your Greek text with the Greek language attribute (which should be automatic in most cases), it’s as simple as finding all Greek language text and changing the font. Your method it’s better, though, because you’re sure not to miss anything.

  2. serie al fondo hay sitio cuarta temporada on February 3, 2015 at 4:32 am

    serie al fondo hay sitio cuarta temporada

    How to Find Every Unicode Greek Character in Microsoft Word

  3. R. Atkins on May 6, 2015 at 10:33 am

    That appears not to work in Word 2013.

    • Mark Ward on May 6, 2015 at 2:25 pm

      Good call. I probably need to deprecate this post…

  4. Automagical font macro | on June 16, 2015 at 7:52 pm

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  5. Mary Elizabeth Sarks on December 28, 2017 at 9:41 am

    DO NOT DEPRECATE! I found this in 2017 and use it for Word 2010. Excellent. Up till now I’d been using a cumbersome vba I wrote. Your way is much better. Thank you!

  6. arcodenheijer on August 14, 2020 at 5:25 am

    Thank you very much! I was going through my dissertation manually for a similar operation. But the last 3.248 characters have now been replaced in one click.

  7. Dr. Priscilla Turner on November 28, 2020 at 4:06 pm

    I am absolutely so grateful for this counsel. My current task is reconstituting in modern Unicode word-processing form my Ezekiel Septuagint work which is currently published on the basis of a scan of the original typescript that is quite faint in spots. It was put up in Chiwriter 3.17 in 1996, a DOS-based Hebrew-Arabic-Greek programme, and printed out from there. This was before Unicode. There is a converter which will make a WordPerfect 5.1 file with all my Greek covered accurately but no Hebrew. The files open much better nowadays in Word than in the latter, with little hazards such as bits of WordPerfect’s horrible non-Unicode special characters, and all the Greek lowercase Nus coming over as vs (which I have solved by substituting my four initials in the original conversion and changing that ‘code’ back to Nu in each place once in Word). Anyhow, with your help I’m able to take text which comes over in Courier New and get all of my Greek put into Cardo painlessly. Now to change every bit of gibberish for Hebrew piece by piece …

    Can I give you anything or help you in any way by way of thanks?

    Everyone here should know about this method of typing biblical languages with Unicode characters: https://academic.tyndalehouse.com/unicode-font-kit

    Here is a list of most of my writing and speaking: https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/books-print-shorter-writing-speaking-dr-priscilla-turner/

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