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. ...

MORE FROM ALLEN

Turning Off a Dictionary for a Style

There may be some paragraphs in a document that you don't want Word to spell- or grammar-check. You can "turn off" the ...

Discover More

Copying Subtotals

If you have added subtotals to your worksheet data, you might want to copy those subtotals somewhere else. This is easy to do ...

Discover More

Printing a List of Named Ranges

You already know that you can define names that apply to different ranges of cells and other elements such as formulas. ...

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)

Renaming a File

Need to rename a disk file from within a macro? You can do it using the Name command, described in this tip.

Discover More

Resetting Character Formatting in a Macro

Want your macro to get rid of the formatting applied to a selection of text? It's easy enough to do using the Reset method, ...

Discover More

Finding Long Lines

Word is very dynamic in how it "flows" text from one line to another and one page to another. In most cases we are willing 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 9 - 2?

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.