alternative dialog find replace for writer Alternative Find & Replace for Writer (AltSearch)

Tags: Extensions Writer

last edited: 2023-01-24


Extension that adds many new features to Writer's find & replace function.

alternative dialog find replace for writer b1ead180 d038 4e11 a6b9 989f98082416


  • Fast selection preset regular and extended expressions
  • Searched or replaced text can contain one or more paragraphs
  • Search out block of paragraphs delimited by two text marks
  • Multiple search and replacement in one step
  • Searching: Bookmarks, Notes, Text fields, Cross-references and Reference marks to their content, name or mark and their inserting
  • Searching and inserting Footnote and Endnote (from version OOo 2.3 only). It is possible to select at once texts of all footnotes or endnotes and to assign them any style
  • Searching object of Tables, Pictures and Text frames according to their name; it is possible to substitute them by any text, etc.
  • Changing into found or replaced text: paragraph style, character style, list style and Hyperlink's URL and set properties
  • Inserting and replacement: clipboard contents, insert replacement counter and page number
  • Hexadecimal also decimal submission character for search and replaced
  • Searching out manual page and column break and their set up or deactivation
  • Searching similarly or the same manually formatted part of text, according to cursor point
  • Count found occurrences
  • Redirecting result of replacing expression to the other text file
  • Batch mode: saving and loading of search and replacement parameters; it is possible to save several searching and replacing subsequently to the single sequence and that whole quickly execute after. Execute the batch with more opened text documents together.
  • Self dialogue for quick assignment of key shortcut to batches
  • Preserve capitalization - If found text begins with a capital letter, also the text replacement will begin with a capital letter
  • Searching for paragraph, character and list style; possibility to choose a style from the menu
  • Built-in help (
  • Languages: English, Czech, Russian, Spanish, German, French, Dutch, Italian

Additional documentation:


Release List

  • Release Description Compatibility Operating Systems License Release notes  
  • 1.4.2 Fixed error after starting on LO 3.3 Linux, Windows, macOS LGPL Download
  • 1.4.1 Minor graphic fixes. 3.3 LGPL Download
  • 1.4 ICU regexp, bookmarks support, multibatch, formated counter. Several fixes. 3.3 LGPL Download
  • 1.3.2 AltSearch - First release on this server 3.3 LGPL

    For known problems please see



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  • Adalbert Hanssen Aug 14, 2021, 4:16 PM (20 months ago)

    It is extremely useful. Its functionality should be built into LibreOffice itself!

    But sometimes I encountered bugs. Now I have found how to circumvene the gigantic time consumption if one wants to remove spaces before a paragraph mark: instead of




    which speeds up the search tremendously! (But I don't know why).

  • Alberto Tornaghi May 6, 2021, 3:51 AM (23 months ago)

    Very good extension.
    The button to open the list of regular expressions was functioning the first time, but does not opens the list any more.
    Hoe can I open it? Without this I can not know how to search special characters.
    I'm using writer 6.0 in Linux Mint 19

    • Alberto Tornaghi May 6, 2021, 3:52 AM (23 months ago)

      Don't how or why, it is working again.

  • Kevin Coonan Apr 2, 2021, 8:15 PM (24 months ago)

    Does this work with current version???

  • Ano Nymos Mar 10, 2021, 1:21 AM (2 years ago)

    Can consecutive duplicate lines in libreoffice writer be removed using this extension? For example:
    be replaced with:
    Similar to the regex expression:
    search string: ^.*$\p\1$
    replace string: \1

  • Seán Ó Séaghdha Feb 15, 2021, 4:31 AM (2 years ago)

    When _AltSearch is added to the toolbar, it seems to run in Batch mode - ‘Batch 0 is ended’ - is the only output you get. You never see the main dialog.

    Had to go searching for AltSearch.txt in the archive and put it in the right folder (it was looking in the Version 4 folder, so I put it in 7 & symlinked). Maybe this is because it had no language file for the interface language?

    Once you get over the hurdles of installation & the lack of a toolbar button, it works as advertised.

  • fred frazelle Feb 2, 2021, 10:31 PM (2 years ago)

    i have been unable to use this. The program throws an


    Have a great afternoon! :)

  • good guy Jan 20, 2021, 5:10 PM (2 years ago)

    extremely helpful, thanx!
    one thing (which i hope would be a quick fix): searching for multiple (ie: with the '||' separator), but replacing with just 1 thing, works fine in single step 'replace', but does not in 'replace all'. there only the first matching item gets replaced. typical use: search for a word list and replace with a highlight. i have a list of 200 words, why should i write 200 times "\A{CharBackColor=16711680}||..."
    btw: somehow 'whole words only' does not work, i have to enclose each word with '\<' and '\>', which is okay, only bloats the whole search string.

  • Helpful Ducky Dec 28, 2020, 11:08 PM (2 years ago)

    For people who are having trouble installing it, I figured it out. When you try to install the addon, it will give you an error, saying the .oxt does not exist. The last part of the file will be something like "lu####xxxx.tmp_". Navigate to AltSearch.oxt to "C:\Users\[UserName]\AppData\Roaming\LibreOffice\4\user\uno_packages\cache\uno_packages\". Create a folder within that, named whatever you copied from the error message: C:\Users\[UserName]\AppData\Roaming\LibreOffice\4\user\uno_packages\cache\uno_packages\lu####xxxx.tmp_\ and place the AltSearch.oxt in there. Then try to install it. It should work -it did for me, LO version (x64) 12/28/2020

  • Moshe Ariel Dec 3, 2020, 7:58 AM (2 years ago)

    This extension does not load with the most recent version of Writer - (x64). 12/2/2020. It comes up with an error that says the file does not exist. This is the file I download: 4cc0f88b_altsearch. I go to Extension Manager and click on the Add button, double click on this file and get the Error Message.

    Am I doing something wrong? Would love to have this extension working again.


  • Dan Dec 1, 2020, 11:43 AM (2 years ago)

    Hi, I tried to add my own search and replace list to the batch file. But I do not want the list to be executed without me having a look at the result. So I am using the transfer button. Now, if I use this search: ([—|–]|\-{2,})(\s*)(.*?)(\s*)([—|–]|\-{2,}) it will give results with search all and with count in the search window, but not with find (0 results) any ideas? Also, does anybody know how to write the code to just find and then just replace one at a time? Thank you in advance.

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