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Replacing the Last Comma

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: Replacing the Last Comma.

Rebecca is looking for a way to replace the last comma in a sentence with the word "and." She apparently needs to perform this type of edit quite a bit, and thought there might be a quick and easy way to doing the edit rather than needing to manually do it.

There is no built-in way to do this specific edit in Word, but you can create a simple macro that will search for the last comma, delete it, and then type the desired word. The following is an example of such a macro.

Sub ReplaceLastComma()
    Dim J As Integer
    Dim bRep As Boolean
    Dim sRaw As String

    Selection.Sentences(1).Select
    sRaw = Selection.Text
    bRep = False
    For J = Len(sRaw) To 1 Step -1
        If Mid(sRaw, J, 1) = "," Then
            Selection.Collapse Direction:=wdCollapseStart
            Selection.MoveRight Unit:=wdCharacter, Count:=J - 1
            Selection.Delete Unit:=wdCharacter, Count:=1
            Selection.TypeText Text:=" and"
            J = 1
            bRep = True
        End If
    Next J
    If Not bRep Then Selection.Collapse Direction:=wdCollapseStart
End Sub

The macro selects the current sentence (the one in which the insertion point is located, and then steps backwards through the text of the sentence. (The text is assigned to the variable sRaw for ease of processing.) If a comma is found, then the insertion point is positioned just before the comma in the document, the comma is deleted, and then a space and the word "and" is typed.

If you prefer that the macro not delete the comma, you can make the quick change of deleting the line that does the deletion (and changing the line before it so that the movement is "J+1" rather than "J-1"), or you can simply add a comma before the space in the text that is being typed by the macro.

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (5401) 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: Replacing the Last Comma.

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