How to Replace a Word in VSCode: A Step-by-Step Guide for Beginners

How to Replace a Word in VSCode

Replacing a word in Visual Studio Code (VSCode) is a straightforward task that can significantly boost your coding efficiency. In just a few simple steps, you can find and replace any word or phrase across your entire project or within a specific file. The following guide will walk you through the process, ensuring you can quickly apply these changes and get back to coding without a hitch.

Step-by-Step Tutorial on How to Replace a Word in VSCode

This guide will show you how to replace a word in VSCode. By the end of this tutorial, you’ll know how to replace words in a single file or across your entire project.

Step 1: Open VSCode

Open the Visual Studio Code application on your computer.

Make sure your project or file is already loaded in the workspace. If not, open the file or project where you want to replace the word.

Step 2: Open the Find Widget

To open the Find Widget, press Ctrl+F (or Cmd+F on Mac).

The Find Widget will appear at the top right corner of the editor. This is where you can enter the word you want to find.

Step 3: Enter the Word to Find

Type the word you want to replace in the Find Widget’s text box.

As you type, VSCode will highlight all instances of that word within the file. This helps you visually confirm the occurrences.

Step 4: Open the Replace Widget

Press Ctrl+H (or Cmd+Option+F on Mac) to open the Replace Widget.

The Replace Widget looks similar to the Find Widget but includes an additional text box for the replacement word.

Step 5: Enter the Replacement Word

In the Replace Widget, type the word or phrase you want to replace the original word with.

Make sure you double-check the replacement word for typos. This step ensures your replacement is error-free.

Step 6: Replace All Instances

Click the "Replace All" button (or press Alt+Enter) to replace all instances of the word in the file.

This action will replace every occurrence of the word in the current file. If you only want to replace specific instances, you can click "Replace" next to each occurrence.

Step 7: Replace Across the Entire Project (Optional)

If you want to replace the word across the entire project, press Ctrl+Shift+H (or Cmd+Shift+H on Mac).

This opens the Replace Widget for the entire project. Follow the same steps to enter the word to find and the replacement word, then click "Replace All."

Once you’ve completed these steps, you’ll see that the word has been replaced throughout your file or project. You can now continue working with your updated text.

Tips for Replacing a Word in VSCode

  • Use regular expressions: Enable the regex option (.*) in the Find Widget to search for patterns rather than specific words.
  • Case sensitivity: Toggle the case sensitivity option (Aa) to ensure you only replace words with the exact casing.
  • Whole word match: Use the whole word match option (ab) to replace only entire words, not parts of words.
  • Preview changes: Use the "Replace" button instead of "Replace All" to preview changes before making them.
  • Undo mistakes: If you make a mistake, press Ctrl+Z (or Cmd+Z on Mac) to undo the changes.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I replace a word in multiple files at once?

Yes, you can replace a word across multiple files by using the "Replace in Files" feature with Ctrl+Shift+H.

How do I search for special characters in VSCode?

Enable regex in the Find Widget and use the appropriate regex syntax to search for special characters.

Is there a way to replace words with different formatting?

VSCode’s Find and Replace does not support formatting changes directly. You need to use extensions for advanced text manipulation.

Can I replace only specific occurrences and not all at once?

Yes, you can manually replace specific occurrences by using the "Replace" button next to each highlighted word.

How do I ensure I only replace whole words?

Enable the "Match Whole Word" option (ab) in the Find Widget to replace only entire words.


  1. Open VSCode.
  2. Open the Find Widget (Ctrl+F).
  3. Enter the word to find.
  4. Open the Replace Widget (Ctrl+H).
  5. Enter the replacement word.
  6. Replace all instances.
  7. Replace across the entire project (Ctrl+Shift+H).


Replacing a word in VSCode is a simple yet powerful feature that saves you both time and effort. Whether you’re tidying up your code or making significant changes, the Find and Replace functionality is a go-to tool for developers.

Remember, using regular expressions and case sensitivity options can further refine your search and replace tasks. If you’re working on a large project, replacing words across multiple files helps maintain consistency throughout your codebase.

If you’re new to VSCode, take some time to explore other features and extensions available. This knowledge can streamline your workflow and enhance your productivity. Happy coding!