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: Searching for Paragraph Marks and Line Breaks.

Searching for Paragraph Marks and Line Breaks

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated December 7, 2016)

2

Word allows you to search not just for text, but also for special characters that normally do not print. Two of the most common characters you will find yourself searching for are paragraph marks and line breaks (sometimes called newline characters). To search for these characters, follow these steps:

  1. Choose Find from the Edit menu. Word displays the Find tab of the Find and Replace dialog box. (See Figure 1.)
  2. Figure 1. The Find tab of the Find and Replace dialog box.

  3. In the Find What box, enter the text for which you want to search. To search for a paragraph mark, enter ^p; to search for a line break, enter ^l. It is important to use a lowercase p or l.
  4. Set other searching parameters, as desired.
  5. Click on Find Next.

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (7) 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: Searching for Paragraph Marks and Line Breaks.

Author Bio

Allen Wyatt

With more than 50 non-fiction books and numerous magazine articles to his credit, Allen Wyatt is an internationally recognized author. He  is president of Sharon Parq Associates, a computer and publishing services company. ...

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What is 5 + 2?

2016-11-27 15:12:03

john

make sure you haven't previously pressed ctrl-J on the find and replace dialogue box. The word 'justified' should not appear in the dialogue box when performing this command


2016-10-01 07:02:55

GeordieLad

This works for me only with ^p. Why not ^l?

It's a useful tip which goes part way to solving a problem I posted some time ago but remains unanswered:

I need an easy way to change the line spacing to the next paragraph and need to know what to put in the Replace with field; ie, a code for a font size.

I presume that entering ^p followed by other characters would achieve my goal - but what other characters? Can anyone help?


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