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.

Adding an Ellipsis to the Beginning of Some Paragraphs

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated February 18, 2012)

4

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:

  1. Somewhere in your document, create an ellipsis character. (Perhaps at the beginning of your first incomplete sentence.)
  2. Select the ellipsis character and press Ctrl+C to copy it to the Clipboard.
  3. Move the insertion point so that the ellipsis character is no longer selected.
  4. Press Ctrl+H. Word displays the Replace tab of the Find and Replace dialog box.
  5. Click the More button, if it is available. (See Figure 1.)
  6. Figure 1. The Replace tab of the Find and Replace dialog box.

  7. Make sure the Use Wildcards check box is selected.
  8. Enter the following in the Find What box: (^13)([a-z])
  9. Enter the following in the Replace With box: \1^c\2
  10. Click Replace All.

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:

http://word.tips.net/C0016_Wild_Card.html
http://www.gmayor.com/replace_using_wildcards.htm

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.

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 Count for a Section

Dynamic word counts for your entire document are easy to get when you use using fields. There is no built-in method to get a ...

Discover More

Sorting an Entire List

Need to sort all the data in a table? Here's the fastest and easiest way to do it.

Discover More

Boxes in Boxes

When you insert a text box within another text box, you may expect any text in the outer text box to wrap around the inner ...

Discover More

Comprehensive VBA Guide Visual Basic for Applications (VBA) is the language used for writing macros in all Office programs. This complete guide shows both professionals and novices how to master VBA in order to customize the entire Office suite for their needs. Check out Mastering VBA for Office 2010 today!

More WordTips (menu)

Searching for Characters

When using pattern matching in a search, you can specify individual characters or ranges of characters you want matched in ...

Discover More

Understanding Pattern Matching

Pattern matching is a type of searching you can do in Word that is very powerful. Despite its power, it remains rather ...

Discover More

Replacing Spaces in Part Numbers with Dashes

Word has a power capability to search for information and then replace that information in some way. Finding the right method ...

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 three minus 2?

2012-02-22 06:41:43

Harold Druss

Perhaps a macro would be a better solution, especially if Steven does this on a regular basis.

Sub FirstCharacterLowercase()
Dim p As Paragraph
Dim i As Long
i = 1
For Each p In ActiveDocument.Paragraphs
If Asc(p.Range.Characters(1).Text) > 96 And Asc(p.Range.Characters(1).Text) < 123 Then
ActiveDocument.Paragraphs(i).Range.Select
With Selection
.Collapse Direction:=wdCollapseStart
.InsertSymbol CharacterNumber:=8230, Unicode:=True, Bias:=0
End With

End If
i = i + 1
Next
End Sub


2012-02-21 18:36:12

Mike

Harold, I haven't tested this, but I'm going to assume it doesn't work on the first paragraph simply because it's not preceded by a paragraph character (^13), which this specifically looks for.


2012-02-20 14:00:03

Steven Taylor

If your first paragraph starts at the very beginning of the file, then this tip will not work because the search criteria includes finding a newline (^13) character followed by any lowercase letter. A paragraph at the beginning of the file does not have a newline character just before it. You will need to fix that first one manually and then do the rest of the file using the find and replace function.


2012-02-18 09:35:08

Harold Druss

Does this tip work if the first letter of the first paragraph is lower case?

I can't seem to get it to work with the first paragraph.


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.