How to Find and Replace in Adobe Illustrator

There are two methods for finding and changing things. The Find and Replace function in Illustrator works with text and is similar to others you may have used, but with some added features. There are also Select Same functions that are useful when changing the attributes of objects.

  1. To find and change text, go to Edit > Find and Replace.
    Edit Menu
  2. Pay attention to the options in the dialog box.
    Find and Replace Options
  3. Find and Replace can be used for more than word substitution. Let's say there's a brand name that you need to add a copyright symbol (©) to. Check Match Case, and type the brand name into the Find and Replace With fields. With your cursor at the end of the name, click the Special Character menu to the right of the Replace With field and choose Copyright Symbol.
    Find and Replace
  4. Click Find and the first instance will be selected in the project. Then you'll have the following options:
    • Find Next: Skips the selected instance and finds the next occurrence.
    • Replace: Changes the selected instance, and then you need to click Find Next to go to the next occurrence.
    • Replace & Find: Changes the selected instance and finds the next one.
    • Change All: Changes all occurrences in the file.

    Find and Replace
  5. When you need to make global changes to object attributes, such as stroke or fill color, using Select Same is very efficient. Say you want to change a fill color that's been applied to both text and shapes. Click on one object with that attribute, then go to Select > Same > Fill Color.
    Select Menu
  6. All objects using that fill color are selected, and you can quickly change the fill.
    Selected Objects
Author: Kate Cahill

Kate Cahill is a graphic designer, writer, and creative director who has developed content for print and web. As creative director, she has produced award-winning work for agencies focused on the pharmaceutical and health and beauty aid industries. She has also served as production manager, with responsibility for the successful fulfillment of long-run print contracts. Kate has been delivering training for Webucator clients since 2010. Her enthusiasm for cutting-edge technology, combined with hands-on practical experience, brings an added benefit to her classes. Kate teaches real-world techniques and integration of Adobe software, as well as Microsoft PowerPoint, to produce a fully developed and cohesive brand identity.

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