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 Nov 3, 2020, 10:55 AM (2 years ago)

    There are several bugs when applying AltSearch within a table. It depends if the selection spans more than one cell or less. If I want to replace e.g. \p by \n within a selection which extends beyond a single cell, I get the error message

    It is impossible to find text in this object.

    Which is definitely not true: I see text in my selection.

    Another time aplying it within a table I first got a warning: "CursorInit: Unsupported selection". Why this and how to overcome it?

    If I continued to apply a search and replace operation (e.g. replace \s by a normal space), I get the error message

    "Bt_run: Error with opening file: xxx l. 289: Object variable not set"

    (where xxx is the path to AltSearchScript.txt. By the way: This file contains the stored batch scripts and therefore interesting examples and suggestions for scripts that could be used in conjunction with AltSearch. Perhaps you can learn from them what the missing description of the dialect of regular expressions leaves open.)

  • Keith Oct 31, 2020, 7:57 PM (2 years ago)

    Cannot downloand 1.4.2 getting this message: Add Extension(s):
    C:\Users\***\AppData\Roaming\LibreOffice\4\user\uno_packages\cache\uno_packages\lu126411ckee.tmp_\altsearch.oxt does not exist

  • Adalbert Hanßen Oct 31, 2020, 12:20 PM (2 years ago)

    How exactly can I replace all Character styles of one type to another one? I can search for all occurrences of say [:::CharStyleName=Example::] but when using the same pattern, say [:::CharStyleName=Code::], just this text is pasted rather than the other character style is applied. Some more documentation would be very helpful at this place.

    • Adalbert Hanßen Dec 2, 2020, 12:18 PM (2 years ago)

      In order to replace all uses of character style Example by another character style, enter [:::CharStyleName=Example::] to the search field but leave the replacement field empty. Then use find all. Then all occurrences of the searched-for character style are marked and these (possibly many) found places can be assigned some other defined character style by double clicking on the wanted character style in the F11 dialogue box (under character styles).

  • Keith Oct 26, 2020, 8:33 PM (2 years ago)

    \n is worthless when looking for Carriage Return.
    There is no way to search and replace for Carriage Return.
    All other functions are already available as default in LibreOffice.
    Could you please provide a version that can actually search for carriage return?

    • Adalbert Hanßen Oct 26, 2020, 9:49 PM (2 years ago)

      Try it with \p (paragraph mark). \n is the forced linefeed (which probably has not a vertical above or below spacing associated with it.

  • Adalbert Hanßen Oct 26, 2020, 5:39 PM (2 years ago)

    There is an error if I want to simultaneously remove any blancs at the end of a line and change \p to \n by using \s*\p: In general * matches zero to any number of matches. This one fails, if there is no blank space before a paragraph mark! Nevertheless, AltSearch is very useful. But the regular expression syntax should be described more!

    By the way, your rating should indicate if a higher number indicates better or not so good. Grades in school follow different schemes in different countries, so this is not obvious.

  • Élisson Góis Gallas Oct 21, 2020, 8:31 PM (2 years ago)

    All I could want in a search tool. How can I help you translate it to Portuguese?

    • Adalbert Hanßen Oct 26, 2020, 10:00 PM (2 years ago)

      Do it with Copy/paste starting with any language version. There is an excellent online translator. If you are a native speaker of the target language, you can easily correct the translation you receive so that it is really understandable (if the source text was understandable in the foreign language). In the case of individual words whose translation seems questionable, you can then click on these words in the target language and you will be presented with a list of further options. If you select one of them with the mouse, the translation of the text in the left-hand field will continue with this selection.

      You can find this online translator at

      Translated with (free version)

    • Adalbert Hanßen Oct 26, 2020, 9:58 PM (2 years ago)

      Es gibt einen exzellenten Onlineübersetzer. Wenn man in der Zielsprache Muttersprachler ist, kann man die da erhaltene Übersetzung leicht so korrigieren, daß sie wirklich gut veständlich ist (falls der Ausgangstext in der fremden Sprache vernündtig war). Bei einzelnen Worten, deren Übersetzung einem fragwürdig erscheint, kann man dann in der Zielsprache auf diese Wörter klicken und bekommt dann eine Liste weiterer Wahhlmöglichkeiten. Wenn man davon eine mit der Maus auswählt, wird die Übersetzung des Texts im linken Feld damit fortgesetzt.

      Diesen Onlineübersetzer findet man bei

    • Adalbert Hanßen Oct 26, 2020, 9:54 PM (2 years ago)

      Há um excelente tradutor em linha. Se for um falante nativo da língua de destino, pode facilmente corrigir a tradução que recebe para que esta seja realmente compreensível (se o texto original fosse compreensível na língua estrangeira). Se a tradução de uma palavra for questionável, pode clicar sobre ela na língua de destino e obter uma lista de outras opções. Se seleccionar um deles com o rato, a tradução do texto no campo da esquerda será continuada.

      Pode encontrar este tradutor em linha em

      Traduzido com a versão gratuita do tradutor -

  • Ian Oct 17, 2020, 5:26 PM (2 years ago)

    Downloaded v.1.4.2 just now, no difficulties. v.1.3.2 which appears to be the version you attempted is an old version.
    To remove carraige returns from a document you can simply use the built in search and replace. Simply choose 'use regular expressions' and enter '\r\n' in find with nothing in the replace box. \r = carraige return. \n = new line. It can be quite useful to learn regular expressions.

  • Ruth Werner Oct 15, 2020, 11:26 PM (2 years ago)

    I got this message when attempting to download the altsearch extension...
    "this type of file can harm your computer. Do you want to keep 6cbfbb88_altsearch...oxt anyway?
    Can you explain this and tell me if it's a legitimate concern? I really want to be able to remove carriage returns from a document.

  • Punkt und Komma Sep 29, 2020, 1:30 PM (2 years ago)

    perhaps not yet ideal but many more functions than the LO-own search function

  • salvatore ferlito Sep 21, 2020, 10:17 AM (3 years ago)

    Aggiungi estensione/i:
    /home/nome/.config/libreoffice/4/user/uno_packages/cache/uno_packages/lu7177zp1vz3.tmp_/altsearch.oxt non esiste.

    Nemmeno su libreoffice

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