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)

3

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

Word 2016 Terrific Tables (Table of Contents)

Word allows you to create and format tabular information using a powerful table editor. Discover the many ways that you can ...

Discover More

Understanding Justification

Paragraphs can be aligned in four different ways. This tip examines those alignment methods.

Discover More

Changing Paragraph Borders

Word allows you to easily add borders to a paragraph of text. If you want, you can even change each side of the border to be ...

Discover More

The First and Last Word on Word! Bestselling For Dummies author Dan Gookin puts his usual fun and friendly candor back to work to show you how to navigate Word 2013. Spend more time working and less time trying to figure it all out! Check out Word 2013 For Dummies today!

More WordTips (menu)

Inserting Different Dashes

Dashes have a lot of different uses in writing. Word supports three types of dashes, as discussed in this tip.

Discover More

Inserting Special Spaces

Do you need to frequently add en spaces and em spaces to your documents? You can add special tools to Word that make ...

Discover More

Understanding Click and Type

The Click and Type feature of Word allows you to use the mouse to click somewhere on a blank page, and then begin typing. ...

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. 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 four less than 6?

2016-12-14 13:37:39

Lewis Pate

This code works very well in word 2010, for me. I use it to prepare a computer generated document for copying into a different computer system.
This makes my life much easier.
Thank You Sir!!!!!!


2014-10-16 01:26:54

Andre

The same can be achieved without macro by using the replace function.
Find: ^w^p
Replace: ^p


2013-04-29 14:42:16

Oliver Ortega Chua

This is really helpful. Thanks!

The only change I made was to search for "^w" (space, nonbreaking space, tab) instead of only spaces since I also can't stand stray tabs. :)


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.