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 Multiple Spaces with Tabs.

Replacing Multiple Spaces with Tabs

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated July 27, 2013)

3

You may receive a document from someone that uses multiple spaces to separate items on a line. This is typically done when a person wants to format tabular material, and separates columns using spaces. You can find this quite a bit in information downloaded from the Web.

If you are starting with a source document in this condition, you may be wondering how you can replace all the consecutive spaces with a single tab character. It is possible to go through multiple search-and-replace operations to achieve the desired goal, but there is a quicker way. You can replace any number of consecutive spaces with a single tab character by following these steps:

  1. Press Ctrl+H. Word displays the Replace tab of the Find and Replace dialog box.
  2. Click on the More button if it is available. (See Figure 1.)
  3. Figure 1. The Replace tab of the Find and Replace dialog box.

  4. In the Find What box, enter a single space followed by the characters {2,}. (Type only the left brace, the number 2, the comma, and the right brace.)
  5. In the Replace With box, type ^t.
  6. Make sure the Use Wildcards check box is selected.
  7. Click on Replace All.

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (851) 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 Multiple Spaces with Tabs.

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

Easily Adding Blank Rows

Want to add a bunch of blank rows to a your data and have those rows interspersed among your existing rows? Here's a quick ...

Discover More

Controlling the Bold Text Attribute

When processing a document in a macro, you may need to make some of your text bold. It's easy to do using the Bold attribute, ...

Discover More

Hiding Table Gridlines, by Default

The edges to table cells are shown two ways in Word: gridlines and borders. Table gridlines are only seen in Word; they do ...

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)

Adding an Ellipsis to the Beginning of Some Paragraphs

The Find and Replace feature of Word is very powerful. You can even use it to add a unique character to the beginning of ...

Discover More

Searching for Characters

When using pattern matching in a search, you can specify individual characters or ranges of characters you want matched in ...

Discover More

Matching At the Beginning or End of a Word

The pattern matching capabilities of Word's search engine are quite powerful. You can tailor your search pattern so that ...

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. Maximum image size is 6Mpixels. 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 6 - 0?

2015-02-06 02:20:53

Dhinesh

Thanks for your information.working good


2014-11-02 10:54:01

kirill

oops, does not work, not for mac, at least :(


2013-09-09 08:15:07

Richard Laycock

Very helpful. I should have looked this up years ago.

BTW, I would have subscribed but your site failed to let me "Fields were missing..." I imagine you're scanning for personal info or setting ad links my Hosts file disables. If you weren't so snoopy my subscription would have worked. You should reconsider your privacy policies.


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.