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.

Transposing Letters

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated July 2, 2016)

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.

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

Status Bar Icons

Near the center of the status bar Word displays a number of different icons. This tip describes the meaning of each possible ...

Discover More

Calculating Months of Tenure

Need to know the number of months between two dates? It's easy to figure out if you use the DATEDIF function.

Discover More

Inserting the Subject in Your Document

One of the properties you can specify for a document is a subject. You can then use a field code to insert this subject, ...

Discover More

Do More in Less Time! Are you ready to harness the full power of Word 2013 to create professional documents? In this comprehensive guide you'll learn the skills and techniques for efficiently building the documents you need for your professional and your personal life. Check out Word 2013 In Depth today!

More WordTips (menu)

Changing Many Link Locations

Word makes it easy to establish links between documents. If you need to change the locations for a lot of links at once, you ...

Discover More

Getting Rid of Automatic Page-Break Lines

A little trick to get rid of pagination marks when you have background pagination turned off.

Discover More

Meaningless Text

The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog, or so the story goes. Here's how to put this type of meaningless text into a ...

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.