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Transposing Letters

Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Word versions: 97, 2000, 2002, and 2003. If you are using a later version (Word 2007 or later), this tip may not work for you. For a version of this tip written specifically for later versions of Word, click here: Transposing Letters.

If you've got a word that you've spelled incorrectly by transposing two characters (such as wierd instead of weird or godo instead of good), you may want a way to transpose the two offending letters in order to correct the word. There is no built-in command in Word to do this, but you can create your own command, using a macro, to easily accomplish the task.

On approach is to create a macro that works when you place the insertion point in front of the offending pair of letters. This means you would place the insertion point in front of the "ie" in wierd or in front of the "do" in godo. The macro then deletes whatever the next character is, moves one character to the right, and then inserts the character just deleted.

Sub TransposeChar1()
    With Selection
        .MoveRight Unit:=wdCharacter, Count:=1, Extend:=wdExtend
        .Cut
        .MoveRight Unit:=wdCharacter, Count:=1
        .Paste
    End With
End Sub

Putting the insertion point before the two characters seems a bit odd to some users, so you can also devise a macro that will work if you start between the two characters you want to transpose.

Sub TransposeChar2()
    With Selection
        .MoveLeft Unit:=wdCharacter, count:=1, Extend:=wdExtend
        .Cut
        .MoveRight Unit:=wdCharacter, count:=1
        .Paste
        .MoveLeft Unit:=wdCharacter, count:=1
    End With
End Sub

This macro, upon completion, leaves the insertion point where you started—between the two characters that were transposed.

You can make the macros more powerful (whichever approach you choose) by assigning your selection to a shortcut key, such as Ctrl+T.

Of course, another way to solve the transposition problem is to use AutoCorrect. If you find that you frequently transpose two characters in a word, then you can create an AutoCorrect entry that will do the switch for your as you are typing. How you set up AutoCorrect entries has been covered in other issues of WordTips.

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (351) applies to Microsoft Word 97, 2000, 2002, and 2003. You can find a version of this tip for the ribbon interface of Word (Word 2007 and later) here: Transposing Letters.

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