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: Adding an Ellipsis to the Beginning of Some Paragraphs.
by Allen Wyatt
(last updated February 18, 2012)
Steven has a document he is editing, and it has many paragraphs that begin with incomplete sentences. He can tell where these are because the paragraphs always begin with a word that starts with a lowercase letter. He wants to use Find and Replace to locate these problem paragraphs and add an ellipsis (...) before the character that starts the paragraph. Steven can figure out what to search for, but can't quite figure out what to replace it with.
This is a job for the wildcard capabilities of Find and Replace. Here are the steps to follow in doing the replacement:
Figure 1. The Replace tab of the Find and Replace dialog box.
The pattern you enter into the Find What box (step 7) locates any end-of-paragraph marker followed by any lowercase letter. The parentheses around these individual elements form two groups that can be referenced in the Replace With box (step 8) by the \1 and \2, respectively. The ^c in the Replace With pattern indicates that you want to use the contents of the Clipboard in the replacement. In this case, the Clipboard contains an ellipsis character, placed there in step 2.
You can discover more about using wildcards in your searching by going to either of these:
WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (11323) 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: Adding an Ellipsis to the Beginning of Some Paragraphs.
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