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: Strip Trailing Spaces.

Strip Trailing Spaces

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated June 26, 2018)

1

Maybe I'm one of those compulsive-obsessive types, but I always go through my documents to make sure there are no trailing spaces at the end of a line. This makes the document neater and smaller. If you format ASCII files or documents you receive from other people, you will need to search for trailing spaces and remove them as you format the file for Word. The following macro, StripSpaces, will take out all spaces before paragraph marks and manual line breaks throughout your document.

Sub StripSpaces()
    Selection.HomeKey Unit:=wdStory
    Selection.Find.ClearFormatting
    Selection.Find.Replacement.ClearFormatting
    With Selection.Find
        .Text = " ^p"
        .Replacement.Text = "^p"
        .Forward = True
        .Wrap = wdFindContinue
        .Format = False
        .MatchWholeWord = False
        .MatchWildcards = False
    End With
    Selection.Find.Execute
    While Selection.Find.Found
        Selection.HomeKey Unit:=wdStory
        Selection.Find.Execute Replace:=wdReplaceAll
        Selection.Find.Execute
    Wend

    Selection.Find.Text = " ^l"
    Selection.Find.Replacement.Text = "^l"
    Selection.Find.Execute
    While Selection.Find.Found
        Selection.HomeKey Unit:=wdStory
        Selection.Find.Execute Replace:=wdReplaceAll
        Selection.Find.Execute
    Wend
End Sub

Note:

If you would like to know how to use the macros described on this page (or on any other page on the WordTips sites), I've prepared a special page that includes helpful information. Click here to open that special page in a new browser tab.

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (969) 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: Strip Trailing Spaces.

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

Reviewing Document Versions

If you save different versions of your document using the versioning feature of Word, you'll want to know how you can go ...

Discover More

Understanding Views

Need to display your worksheet in different ways? A quick way to do this is to create views, as described in this tip.

Discover More

Selecting a Graphic Behind a Text Box

How to select a graphic that is obscured by a text box can be perplexing. Here's an overview of the different ways you ...

Discover More

Learning Made Easy! Quickly teach yourself how to format, publish, and share your content using Word 2013. With Step by Step, you set the pace, building and practicing the skills you need, just when you need them! Check out Microsoft Word 2013 Step by Step today!

More WordTips (menu)

Arranging Paragraphs

Need to move a few paragraphs around in your document? Word provides a couple of handy shortcuts that make it very easy ...

Discover More

Creating Custom Document Properties

Word allows you to keep track of any number of custom properties about a document. Here's how to create those properties ...

Discover More

Moving Text without Affecting the Clipboard

Want a quick and easy way to move text (or other document elements) from one place to another in your document? Check out ...

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}] (all 7 characters, in the sequence shown) 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 - 3?

2022-05-24 10:06:10

Gergely Gyarmati

Works great, except if, for whatever reason, there are many consecutive spaces at the end of a line. In such case this macro simply crashes Word. To avoid this problem simply used replace and I changed the macro to use wildcards and find 1-10 consecutive spaces. Because of the wildcard ^p won't work anymore so ^13 and ^11 have to be used instead.

A problem that remains is that spaces at the end of cells won't be deleted in either case because there's no paragraph mark, only an end of cell mark, which can't be replaced. Any solutions for that?


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.

Videos
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.