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 February 9, 2013)

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

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

Moving Cell Borders when Sorting

Sort your data and you may be surprised at what Excel does to your formatting. (Some formatting may be moved in the sort and ...

Discover More

Jumping to a Page within a Section

In long documents it is often helpful to jump directly to a particular page. Word provides several tools you can use to get ...

Discover More

Changing the Link to Previous Default for Headers and Footers

When you insert a new section in your document, Word assumes you want the headers and footers in that section to be the same ...

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)

Repeating Your Typing

Want a quick way to repeat a word or phrase you just typed? Here's the shortcut you need.

Discover More

Non-breaking Em Dashes

Need an em dash to be "sticky" on both ends of the dash? Word doesn't provide such formatting, but there are a few ...

Discover More

Adding Serial Commas in a Sentence

Part of the job of an editor is to apply standards of grammar to text written by someone else. One standard that may need to ...

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 for this tip:

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.

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.

Links and Sharing
Share