officer (version 0.3.16)

body_replace_all_text: Replace text anywhere in the document, or at a cursor


Replace all occurrences of old_value with new_value. This method uses grepl/gsub for pattern matching; you may supply arguments as required (and therefore use regex features) using the optional ... argument.

Note that by default, grepl/gsub will use fixed=FALSE, which means that old_value and new_value will be interepreted as regular expressions.

Chunking of text

Note that the behind-the-scenes representation of text in a Word document is frequently not what you might expect! Sometimes a paragraph of text is broken up (or "chunked") into several "runs," as a result of style changes, pauses in text entry, later revisions and edits, etc. If you have not styled the text, and have entered it in an "all-at-once" fashion, e.g. by pasting it or by outputing it programmatically into your Word document, then this will likely not be a problem. If you are working with a manually-edited document, however, this can lead to unexpected failures to find text.

You can use the officer function docx_show_chunk to show how the paragraph of text at the current cursor has been chunked into runs, and what text is in each chunk. This can help troubleshoot unexpected failures to find text.


  only_at_cursor = FALSE,
  warn = TRUE,

headers_replace_all_text( x, old_value, new_value, only_at_cursor = FALSE, warn = TRUE, ... )

footers_replace_all_text( x, old_value, new_value, only_at_cursor = FALSE, warn = TRUE, ... )



a docx device


the value to replace


the value to replace it with


if TRUE, only search-and-replace at the current cursor; if FALSE (default), search-and-replace in the entire document (this can be slow on large documents!)


warn if old_value could not be found.


optional arguments to grepl/gsub (e.g. fixed=TRUE)


Replacements will be performed in each header of all sections.

Replacements will be performed in each footer of all sections.

See Also

grep, regex, docx_show_chunk


doc <- read_docx()
doc <- body_add_par(doc, "Placeholder one")
doc <- body_add_par(doc, "Placeholder two")

# Show text chunk at cursor
docx_show_chunk(doc)  # Output is 'Placeholder two'

# Simple search-and-replace at current cursor, with regex turned off
doc <- body_replace_all_text(doc, old_value = "Placeholder",
  new_value = "new", only_at_cursor = TRUE, fixed = TRUE)
docx_show_chunk(doc)  # Output is 'new two'

# Do the same, but in the entire document and ignoring case
doc <- body_replace_all_text(doc, old_value = "placeholder",
  new_value = "new", only_at_cursor=FALSE, = TRUE)
doc <- cursor_backward(doc)
docx_show_chunk(doc) # Output is 'new one'

# Use regex : replace all words starting with "n" with the word "example"
doc <- body_replace_all_text(doc, "\\bn.*?\\b", "example")
docx_show_chunk(doc) # Output is 'example one'
# }