How to Remove All Numbers in a Word Document

In this tutorial I’m going to show you how to remove all numbers in a Word document, including those appearing as subscripts or superscripts, decimals and those inside characters such as brackets.

This is especially useful if you’re working with research papers and other documents that typically include numbered references at the end of sentences. At the end of this tutorial, I’ve also included a video tutorial that you can skip to or refer to.

The instructions below should work on all versions of Word that have the Find and Replace feature, but has only been tested on Word 2003, 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016 and 2019. Let’s get started.

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Option 1: Remove all Whole Numbers

To remove all numbers (including subscripts or superscripts) that are not decimals or those appearing inside or after special characters, do the following:

  1. Open the Find and Replace window by pressing CTRL+H
  2. In the Find what box type ^#
  3. Leave the Replace with box empty and click the Replace All button. All numbers should be removed.
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Option 2: Remove Numbers with a Trailing Character

To only remove numbers that have a trailing character after them similar to how numbered lists look, such as 1. 1, 1) 1] do the following:

  1. Open the Find and Replace window
  2. In the Find what box type ^# for each digit followed by the trailing character. So for example:
    • to match 1. you’ll enter ^#.
    • to match 12, you’ll enter ^#^#,
    • to match 123) you’ll enter ^#^#^#)
    • to match 1234] you’ll enter ^#^#^#^#]
  3. Leave the Replace with box empty and click the Replace All button.

NOTE: This will not work for numbered lists created by Word. To remove these, just highlight the list and click the numbered list icon to remove the formatting.

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Option 3: Remove Numbers Enclosed in Characters

To only remove numbers (including subscripts or superscripts) that are enclosed in characters such as the various types of brackets: parentheses (1), curly {01}, square [1] or angled <1>, you can use one of two methods:

A. Remove the numbers and enclosing characters together

  1. Open the Find and Replace window.
  2. In the Find what box type the opening enclosing character (e.g () followed by ^# for each digit then close with the trailing enclosing character. So for example:
    • to match (1) you’ll enter (^#)
    • to match [12] you’ll enter [#^#]
    • to match {123} you’ll enter {^#^#^#}
    • to match <1234> you’ll enter <^#^#^#^#>
  3. Leave the Replace with box empty and click the Replace All button.

A. Remove the numbers first, then remove the empty characters

  1. Open the Find and Replace window.
  2. Start by removing only the digits first by replacing ^# as explained in the first section.
  3. Next, remove the now empty enclosing characters () {} [] <> by entering them in the Find what box and leaving the Replace with box empty.
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Option 4: Remove All Decimals Numbers

  1. Open the Find and Replace window
  2. For numbers with a single decimal place such as 0.1 1.2 2.3 enter ^#.^# in the Find what box and replace with nothing.
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  4. For numbers with more than one single decimal place such as, 0.01 1.23 1.234 you have two options:
    • you can either replace the whole decimal at once by representing every digit after the decimal place with a ^# e.g ^#.^#^# for 0.01 and ^#.^#^#^# for 1.234, or;
    • you can start by removing the first number and the decimal point by replacing ^#. then replace the remaining whole numbers using ^#.

Video Tutorial

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Author

Kelvin Muriuki is a web content developer that's passionate about keeping the internet a useful place. He is the founder and editor of Journey Bytes, a tech blog and web design agency. Feel free to connect with him regarding the content appearing on this page or on web and content development.

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