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)

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. ...

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