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 Two Characters.

Transposing Two Characters

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated July 16, 2015)


I generally call myself "fumble fingers" when I do it, but it happens nonetheless. I'm typing along, and all of a sudden I notice that I have transposed two characters in a word. For instance, I type form instead of from. Unfortunately, AutoCorrect can't be programmed to correct my mistake, since both form and from are valid words.

If you find yourself doing this, the following macro will be of interest. It can be used to provide a command left out of Word—that of transposing two characters. All you need to do is position the insertion point between two characters you want to transpose and then issue the macro.

Sub TransposeCharacters()
    Selection.MoveLeft Unit:=wdCharacter, Count:=1, _
    Selection.MoveRight Unit:=wdCharacter, Count:=1
    Selection.MoveLeft Unit:=wdCharacter, Count:=1
End Sub

This macro is made more valuable if you assign it to a keyboard shortcut, as described in other issues of WordTips. Once this is done, you can fumble your fingers all you want, and then transpose the characters without ever removing your fingers from the keyboard.

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (454) 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 Two Characters.

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 five less than 8?

2014-07-14 17:36:07


Good tip, clearly written, and helpful! One thing I noticed, though, is that it uses the Cut command meaning that any transposition writes over the Clipboard!

I've been tearing my hair out (what's left of it! :-))
trying to get this to work with "Move Text". But it doesn't seem to work. I even was inspired to think about Copy to Scrapbook, too.

Maybe there's some trick in Visual Basic to get it to invoke "Move Text"!

Any ideas?

2014-03-12 09:53:01


If you wrapped the thing in With/End With you would save yourself from typing all of those Selections.

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