Find And Replace in ODF Documents

With the ODF Toolkit you got a lightweight Java Library to create, search and manipulate Office Document in the Open Document Format. The following tutorial will show some examples to find and replace parts of text and spreadsheet documents.


You can add the ODF Toolkit to your Java project with the following Maven dependency:


Note: Since version 0.12.0 new methods where added which I will explain in the following examples.

Text Documents

To find and replace parts of ODF text document you can use the class TextNavigation. The class allows you to search with regular expression in a text document and navigate through the content.

The following example show how to find all text containing the names ‘John’ or ‘Marry’ and replace the text selection with ‘user’:

OdfTextDocument odt = (OdfTextDocument) OdfDocument.loadDocument(inputStream);
TextNavigation textNav;

textNav = new TextNavigation("John|Marry", odt);
while (textNav.hasNext()) {
	TextSelection selection =;"Found " + selection.getText() + 
                    " at Position=" + selection.getIndex());

It is also possible to change the style of a selection during iterating through a document. See the following example:

    OdfStyle styleBold = new OdfStyle(contentDOM);
    styleBold.setProperty(StyleTextPropertiesElement.FontWeight, "bold");
    // bold all occurrences of "Open Document Format"
    TextNavigation search = new TextNavigation("Open Document Format", doc);
    while (search.hasNext()) {
       TextSelection selection =;

SpreadSheet Documents

To find and manipulate cells in a SpreadSheet document is also very easy. In case of a .ods document you can find a cell by its coordinates:

InputStream inputStream = getClass().getResourceAsStream("/test-document.ods");
OdfSpreadsheetDocument ods = (OdfSpreadsheetDocument) OdfDocument.loadDocument(inputStream);

OdfTable tbl = ods.getTableByName("Table1");
OdfTableCell cell = tbl.getCellByPosition("B3");
// set a new value

There are much more methods in the ODS Toolkit. Try it out and join the community.

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