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: Highlighting Every Thousandth Character.

Highlighting Every Thousandth Character

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated November 8, 2014)

Hakan needs a macro that counts the characters (without spaces) in a word document and highlights every 1000th letter. Creating such a macro is rather straightforward—you simply need to examine all the characters in a document, in turn, and only count those that aren't spaces. The following is a simple little macro that will do just that:

Sub CountThousands1()
    Dim J As Long
    Dim X As Integer

    X = 0
    With ActiveDocument
        For J = 1 To .Characters.Count
            If .Characters(J) <> " " Then X = X + 1
            If X = 1000 Then
                .Characters(J).Select
                Selection.Range.HighlightColorIndex = wdYellow
                X = 0
                Beep
            End If
        Next J
    End With
End Sub

The macro is simple enough; it examines the Characters collection, which contains all the individual characters in a document. The problem with the macro is that it is slow—very slow. Word isn't terribly efficient in examining individual characters in this manner. (It appears that each time you reference a member of the Characters collection, Word needs to examined all the characters from the beginning of the document, all over again.)

A different approach is to simply step through the document, expanding a selection until you get to 1,000 non-space characters.

Sub CountThousands2()
    Dim X As Integer
    Dim sRaw As String
    Dim sProc As String

    Selection.MoveRight Unit:=wdCharacter, Count:=1000, Extend:=wdExtend
    While Len(Selection) = 1000
        sRaw = Selection
        sProc = Replace(sRaw, " ", "")
        X = 1000 - Len(sProc)
        While X > 0
            Selection.MoveRight Unit:=wdCharacter, Count:=X, Extend:=wdExtend
            sRaw = Selection
            sProc = Replace(sRaw, " ", "")
            X = 1000 - Len(sProc)
        Wend
        Selection.Collapse Direction:=wdCollapseEnd
        Selection.MoveLeft Unit:=wdCharacter, Count:=1, Extend:=wdExtend
        Selection.Range.HighlightColorIndex = wdYellow
        Selection.Collapse Direction:=wdCollapseEnd
        Selection.MoveRight Unit:=wdCharacter, Count:=1000, Extend:=wdExtend
    Wend
End Sub

Start this macro with the insertion point at the beginning of the document. The macro then grabs a thousand characters, assigns that selection to a variable (sRaw), creates a variable that has all the spaces removed from it (sProc) and then figures the length of sProc. If it is less than 1,000, then the selection is extended by however many characters it was short and the process is repeated. When the selection contains 1,000 non-space characters, then the highlight is set and the macro goes on to the next block of characters.

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (7870) 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: Highlighting Every Thousandth Character.

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

Calculating Week-Ending Dates

When working with dates, you may need to figure out all the dates on which weeks end in a given year. There are several ...

Discover More

Setting a Default for Shifting when Inserting

When you insert cells into a worksheet, Excel needs to know which direction it should shift the displaced cells. If you ...

Discover More

Template Changing On Its Own

When you attach a template to a document, you expect that template to stay attached. When you share the document with others, ...

Discover More

Create Custom Apps with VBA! Discover how to extend the capabilities of Office 2013 (Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, and Access) with VBA programming, using it for writing macros, automating Office applications, and creating custom applications. Check out Mastering VBA for Office 2013 today!

More WordTips (menu)

Assigning a Macro to a Button in Your Text

One way you can access macros is through the use of a button, added directly into the text of your document. This is done ...

Discover More

Inserting Text with a Macro

Need to have your macro insert a bit of text into your document? It's easy to do using the TypeText method.

Discover More

Getting User Input in a Dialog Box

Want to grab some interactive input from a user in your macro? The best way to do that is with the InputBox function, ...

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 4 - 3?

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.