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: Checking for Matching Parentheses.
Written by Allen Wyatt (last updated June 24, 2023)
This tip applies to Word 97, 2000, 2002, and 2003
Unless you are writing very short documents, cleaning up can be one of the hardest parts of writing. The following macro double-checks your document, paragraph by paragraph, to determine if you have a balanced number of parentheses. The macro counts the number of left parentheses in each paragraph of your document and makes sure you have the same number of right parentheses. If you don't, the macro inserts a paragraph before the unbalanced paragraph indicating the error.
Sub CheckParens() Dim WorkPara As String Dim CheckP() As Boolean Dim NumPara As Integer, J As Integer Dim LeftParens As Integer, RightParens As Integer Dim MsgText As String NumPara = ActiveDocument.Paragraphs.Count ReDim CheckP(NumPara) MsgText = "***Unbalanced parens in the next paragraph" For J = 1 To NumPara CheckP(J) = False WorkPara = ActiveDocument.Paragraphs(J).Range.Text If Len(WorkPara) <> 0 Then LeftParens = CountChars(WorkPara, "(") RightParens = CountChars(WorkPara, ")") If LeftParens <> RightParens Then CheckP(J) = True End If Next J For J = NumPara To 1 Step -1 If CheckP(J) Then Selection.HomeKey Unit:=wdStory, Extend:=wdMove If J > 1 Then Selection.MoveDown Unit:=wdParagraph, _ Count:=(J - 1), Extend:=wdMove End If Selection.InsertParagraphBefore Selection.MoveLeft Unit:=wdCharacter, Count:=1 Selection.Style = "Normal" Selection.TypeText Text:=MsgText End If Next J End Sub Private Function CountChars(A As String, C As String) As Integer Dim Count As Integer Dim Found As Integer Count = 0 Found = InStr(A, C) While Found <> 0 Count = Count + 1 Found = InStr(Found + 1, A, C) Wend CountChars = Count End Function
Note that there are actually two macros here. The CountChars function is called from within the main CheckParens macro. It is this latter macro (CheckParens) that is the one you should actually invoke on your document. When the macro is finished, you can search through the document, looking for the wording "***Unbalanced parens" to see where you may have problems.
WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (1308) 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: Checking for Matching Parentheses.
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