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: Cleaning Up Text in a Macro.

Cleaning Up Text in a Macro

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated February 15, 2014)

There have been many macros that I have written with the express purpose of "cleaning up" text prior to doing something else with it. For instance, inserting it in a new document or saving it in a text file. Often this process is tedious, involving examining each character in a text string and then making some decision as to what to do with it if the character is not within a range of acceptable characters.

VBA includes an interesting method that can be used to help clean up text. It is called, appropriately enough, the CleanString method. You use it as shown here:

sCleanedUp = Application.CleanString(Selection.Text)

This instance sets the sCleanedUp string equal to a "cleaned up" version of the selected text. What exactly does the CleanString method do? It removes non-printing characters in the ANSI range of 1 through 29, with the exception of 7, 9, 10, and 13. In the case of ANSI character 7, it is removed unless it is preceded by character 13, in which case it is replaced with a tab (ANSI 9). In the case of ANSI character 10, it is replaced with character 13 unless preceded by character 13, in which case it is removed. Characters 9 and 13 are not changed.

A number of other characters outside the range of 1 through 29 are also affected by the CleanString method. ANSI character 31 (the optional hyphen), character 172 (also an optional hyphen), and character 182 (the paragraph mark character) are all removed. ANSI character 160 (the non-breaking space), character 176 (another non-breaking space), and character 183 (a bullet character) are each replaced with spaces. All other characters are unchanged.

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (1460) 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: Cleaning Up Text in a Macro.

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

Multiple Data Points in a Chart Column

Excel provides lots of ways you can create charts. This tip provides some pointers on how you can combine stacked column ...

Discover More

Creating and Saving a Spreadsheet

Before you can work with numbers, dates, and formulas, you need to create your Sheets spreadsheet. You can do so using ...

Discover More

Rotating Presentation Objects

Want to spin your text or other Presentation object on its horizontal or vertical axis? It's easy to do using the ...

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)

Toggling Font Assignments in a Macro

If you need to quickly switch a text selection from one typeface to another, one way you can do it is with a macro. This ...

Discover More

Moving the Insertion Point in a Macro

One of the common things done in macros is to somehow "process" documents, which often means moving the insertion point ...

Discover More

Defining a Shortcut for a Macro

You can make running macros very easy if you assign a shortcut key to the macro. This tip demonstrates how easy it is 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

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. 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 five less than 7?

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.

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.