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: Selecting to the Next Punctuation Mark.

Selecting to the Next Punctuation Mark

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated September 29, 2015)

Bruce is writing a macro and needs to make a selection within the document. He knows how to position the insertion point, but after positioning he needs to select everything starting at that point to the next punctuation mark, including any potential quote marks or apostrophes after the punctuation mark. Bruce wonders if there is an actual command to do this, or if there needs to be some sort of involved code to do the selection.

The first thing to try is to use VBA?s built-in ability to move by a sentence at a time. Once you position the insertion point, use the following command:

Selection.MoveRight Unit:=wdSentence, Count:=1, Extend:=wdExtend

The command extends the selection to the right by whatever Word views as a sentence, so it should fulfill your needs. If it doesn?t (perhaps it misses some characters that you need included in your selection), then you can try creating your own selection code. Here is an example of one way to develop such code:

With Selection
    .Extend
    .Find.Text = "[,.'" & Chr(146) & Chr(148) & Chr(34) & "]"
    .Find.MatchWildcards = True
    .Find.Execute
    .Find.Text = "[!,.'" & Chr(146) & Chr(148) + Chr(34) & "]"
    .Find.Execute
End With

The Extend property causes Word to select everything starting at the location of the insertion point, and the wildcard search finds all the punctuation characters. The text being searched for is essentially all the punctuation characters, including apostrophes and quote marks. (These can be modified to fit your needs, as desired.) The second find operation (the one that begins with an exclamation point) finds the first non-punctuation character after the initial find is performed. In that way, it will handle multiple punctuation marks in a row.

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (12340) 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: Selecting to the Next Punctuation Mark.

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. ...

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