How to use Replace to remove or add hard returns in a Word document

2 months ago 18
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Too galore oregon excessively fewer hard returns tin ruin an different nonrecreational looking Microsoft Word document. Fortunately, it's casual to adhd and regenerate those hard returns utilizing Word's Replace feature.

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Image: iStock/Sonja Rachbauer

In a Word document, you usually let Word to wrapper to the adjacent enactment arsenic you participate content. You property Enter lone erstwhile you're acceptable to commencement a caller paragraph. It's not uncommon though, particularly with older documents that you inherit to find much than 1 hard instrumentality betwixt paragraphs. That's due to the fact that idiosyncratic utilized hard returns alternatively of altering the substance benignant to adhd achromatic space. It's not close oregon wrong, but successful this article, I'll amusement you however to usage the Replace diagnostic to delete and adhd hard returns.

SEE: 83 Excel tips each idiosyncratic should master (TechRepublic)

I'm utilizing Microsoft 365 on a Windows 10 64-bit system, but you tin usage earlier versions. Word Online doesn't enactment special-character searches yet. There's nary objection file; you don't request one. Enter =Rand() into a blank papers to make a fewer paragraphs of text, arsenic I did.

What's a hard return?

Before we get started, I privation to notation that the word hard instrumentality refers to manually pressing Enter to wrapper substance to the adjacent line. Word refers to it arsenic a paragraph mark. You'll spot the presumption utilized interchangeably. In this article, I'll usage hard instrumentality erstwhile speaking mostly and I'll usage paragraph people erstwhile referring to the existent awesome circled successful Figure A. To spot this symbol, click Show/Hide successful the Paragraph radical connected the Home tab.

As you tin spot in Figure A, there's lone 1 paragraph people (hard return) betwixt paragraphs. By default, newer versions of Word automatically adhd achromatic abstraction betwixt paragraphs utilizing a Spacing mounting (more astir that later). That's however you get truthful overmuch achromatic abstraction betwixt paragraphs with lone 1 hard return.  You tin set the setting, but let's don't. Instead, let's region it utilizing Replace and spot what happens.

Figure A


   There's lone 1 paragraph people betwixt each paragraph.

Deleting hard returns utilizing Replace successful Word

Now let's accidental that you don't privation each that achromatic abstraction betwixt helium paragraphs, and you incorrectly presume that determination are 2 hard returns alternatively of 1 due to the fact that the paragraphs. In this case, you mightiness bash the pursuing utilizing Replace:

  1. On the Home tab, click Editing and past take Replace, oregon click Ctrl + G. Click the Replace tab if necessary.
  2. Click More if indispensable to exposure much options.
  3. Click wrong the Find What control.
  4. Click the Special fastener astatine the bottommost of the dialog and take Paragraph Mark from the resulting database (Figure B). Do this again, truthful Word looks for 2 paragraph marks (Figure C). The characters ^p correspond a paragraph mark. It's worthy noting that you should usage the Special fastener to participate peculiar characters. Entering the carat quality (^) manually doesn't ever work. 
  5. Click wrong the Replace With control.
  6. Use the Special fastener to participate lone 1 Paragraph Mark (Figure C). 
  7. Take a shortcut and click Replace All. Word confirms the task but makes nary replacement (Figure D). (If you person one, don't worry, it's astir apt an other hard instrumentality astatine the extremity of the text.)

Figure B


  Enter 2 paragraph marks.

Figure C


  Enter lone 1 paragraph mark.

Figure D


  Word confirms that nary replacements were made.

Are you amazed that thing happened? By replacing 2 paragraph marks with lone one, you mightiness deliberation you're removing a paragraph people betwixt each paragraph, but that didn't enactment due to the fact that there's lone 1 paragraph mark. Word didn't find 2 paragraph marks together. 

Let's delete conscionable 1 paragraph people and spot what happens. Repeat the steps above, but successful measurement 4, you request lone 1 Paragraph Mark and successful measurement 6, permission the Replace With power blank (delete the archetypal paragraph people from the archetypal tally if necessary). When you click Replace All, Word deletes each of the paragraph marks (a full of 5) and you extremity up with the azygous paragraph shown successful Figure E.

Figure E


  Removing the hard returns creates a spot of a mess.

Before we determination connected to the conception connected adding hard returns, property Ctrl + Z to undo the Replace task and reset the substance to its archetypal abstraction formatting.

SEE: Windows 10: Lists of vocal commands for code designation and dictation (free PDF) (TechRepublic)

How to adhd hard returns utilizing Replace successful Word

Now we already cognize that there's lone 1 hard instrumentality betwixt each paragraph and that a abstraction mounting is creating each that achromatic space, truthful let's delete it truthful we tin signifier adding a hard instrumentality utilizing Replace. First, let's alteration that abstraction mounting arsenic follows:

  1. Select the contented (all of it).
  2. Click the More fastener successful the Paragraph radical connected the Home tab.
  3. On the Indents and Spacing tab, cheque the Don't Add Space Between Paragraphs of the Same Style enactment (Figure F).
  4. Click OK.

Figure F


  Remove the extraneous spacing betwixt the paragraphs.

The other spacing is gone, but the azygous hard returns are inactive successful place. What we request to bash present is adhd a hard instrumentality to adhd much spacing. (I cognize it seems similar we're not really solving anything, and we're not; we're simply moving done examples of however to adhd and delete paragraph returns utilizing Replace.)

Repeat the instructions for the regenerate task utilized above. You're looking for 1 paragraph instrumentality (^p), and you privation to regenerate it with 2 (^p^p). You're reversing the archetypal regenerate task. Figure G shows the results. The spacing is akin to the earlier abstraction setting.

Figure G


  Add different hard instrumentality to summation the achromatic abstraction betwixt paragraphs.

I'm not suggesting that you destruct the default spacing betwixt paragraphs and past regenerate it with 2 hard returns utilizing Replace. That's not the constituent of the exercises. We're deleting and adding hard returns utilizing Replace due to the fact that it's easier than manually removing and adding them. You've learned that you tin usage Replace to adhd and delete them and that ^p represents a paragraph people erstwhile searching a document. 

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