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Dealing with Run-On Sentences

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: Dealing with Run-On Sentences.

Mia often edits documents containing run-on sentences. Invariably these are two sentences that are currently joined by a comma. Mia wants to replace the comma with a period and then capitalize the first letter of the next word. Doing this manually gets repetitive and time-consuming, so she would like to create a macro and a keyboard shortcut to handle the process.

You could actually record a macro to handle this type of edit. Put your insertion point to the left of the comma and start the macro recorder. You can then perform these steps:

  1. Hold down the Shift key as you press the Right Arrow key to select the comma.
  2. Press a period. This replaces the comma with the requisite period.
  3. Press the Right Arrow once. This should move past the space and put the insertion point just to the left of the character you want to capitalize.
  4. Hold down the Shift key as you press the Right Arrow key to select the character.
  5. Using the mouse, select Format | Change Case | Uppercase | OK.

You can now stop the macro recorder. The macro could be assigned to a shortcut key, or to a button on the toolbar. If you examine the macro, you will find that it looks similar to the following:

Sub FixRunOn()
    Selection.MoveRight Unit:=wdCharacter, _
      Count:=1, Extend:=wdExtend
    Selection.TypeText Text:="."
    Selection.MoveRight Unit:=wdCharacter, _
    Selection.MoveRight Unit:=wdCharacter, _
      Count:=1, Extend:=wdExtend
    Selection.Range.Case = wdUpperCase
End Sub

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (492) 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: Dealing with Run-On Sentences.

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Comments for this tip:

Kitty Hawk    15 Sep 2012, 21:46
Grammar Girl says run-on sentences are two or more sentences joined together "without" punctuation. Therefore she would disagree with your statement that run on sentences are two sentences joined with a comma. Having taught english grammar, I agree with her. What you have in your description is a compound sentence.

See: http://grammar.quickanddirtytips.com/run-on-sentences.aspx

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