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: Automatically Formatting an ASCII File.

Automatically Formatting an ASCII File

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated May 3, 2016)

One of the biggest problems in formatting what was previously an ASCII file is modifying it so there are only hard returns at the end of paragraphs. Most ASCII files have a hard return at the end of every line of the file, and two hard returns at the end of every paragraph. If you have an ASCII file that is formatted like this, such as something you downloaded off the Internet, the following macro will be invaluable. It formats an entire file so there are only hard returns at the end of paragraphs.

Sub ConvertASCII()
    Fmt "^p^p", "{|}"
    Fmt "^p", " {@}"
    Fmt " {@}", " "
    Fmt "{@}", " "
    Fmt "{|}", "^p"
End Sub
Sub Fmt(sFromWord, sToWord)
    Set myRange = ActiveDocument.Content
    myRange.Find.ClearFormatting
    myRange.Find.Execute FindText:=sFromWord, _
      ReplaceWith:=sToWord, MatchCase:=0, _
      Replace:=wdReplaceAll
End Sub

You should run the ConvertASCII macro. It calls the Fmt macro several times to replace various combinations of return characters to get toward the desired result.

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (187) 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: Automatically Formatting an ASCII File.

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. ...

MORE FROM ALLEN

Partially Blocking Social Security Numbers

Need to protect a series of Social Security Numbers in a worksheet? The techniques provided in this tip might be a good ...

Discover More

Stopping Excel from Converting UNC Paths to Mapped Drives

Did you know that if you create a link that uses a UNC path, Excel could rewrite that path to something entirely different? ...

Discover More

Counting Non-Blank Cells

Need to count the number of cells in a range that are not blank? You can use the COUNTA function of a more complex formula to ...

Discover More

Comprehensive VBA Guide Visual Basic for Applications (VBA) is the language used for writing macros in all Office programs. This complete guide shows both professionals and novices how to master VBA in order to customize the entire Office suite for their needs. Check out Mastering VBA for Office 2010 today!

More WordTips (menu)

Adding Drop-Shadows to Paragraphs

Drop shadows are a style of paragraph border used to enhance the visual impact of a paragraph. They are also a great way to ...

Discover More

Keep with Previous

Word allows you to format a paragraph so that it is on the same page as whatever paragraph follows it. You may want, however, ...

Discover More

Using Dot Leaders in a Paragraph

Adding dot leaders to your text is easy through the application of tab stops. This tip explains the steps you need to follow ...

Discover More
Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in WordTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

View most recent newsletter.

Comments

If you would like to add an image to your comment (not an avatar, but an image to help in making the point of your comment), include the characters [{fig}] in your comment text. You’ll be prompted to upload your image when you submit the comment. Images larger than 600px wide or 1000px tall will be reduced. Up to three images may be included in a comment. All images are subject to review. Commenting privileges may be curtailed if inappropriate images are posted.

What is nine minus 5?

There are currently no comments for this tip. (Be the first to leave your comment—just use the simple form above!)


This Site

Got a version of Word that uses the menu interface (Word 97, Word 2000, Word 2002, or Word 2003)? This site is for you! If you use a later version of Word, visit our WordTips site focusing on the ribbon interface.

Newest Tips
Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in WordTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

(Your e-mail address is not shared with anyone, ever.)

View the most recent newsletter.