Getting content into Microsoft Word rarely goes smoothly if you do anything but type it in by hand. If you try to export data from an Excel spreadsheet to Word, for instance, all your words or numbers will end up having tabs separating them instead of single spaces. Is there a special trick you need to know to get rid of such incorrect spacing? There is one, in fact. All you need to do is to use the Find and Replace function – you find all the offending tab spaces and then replace them with the regular spacing pattern that you would prefer.
This, of course, leads to the follow-up question – how does one search for tab spaces?
Eliminating unnecessary space
You just need to know the Word method to refer to these – ^t. In ASCII code, the ^ symbol (you have to hit Shift 6 to get this symbol that’s called caret) is what you use to signify a space of any kind. To find and replace all the tab spaces that clutter up your Excel import, you need to type ^t into Find What on Word. To replace all these with single spaces, you type a single space into the Replace With field. You hit Replace All and you’re done.
Some people like to put two empty lines between paragraphs. When they turn their work in, their editor naturally objects – two empty lines between paragraphs isn’t the standard way. There’s an easy way to replace double paragraph spacings with single ones.
The caret symbol helps us here, too. To find all double spacings on Word, you just type ^p^p (for paragraph space) into Find What. In the replace with field, you type a single ^p. With this, your job is done when you hit Replace All.
Copying and pasting text from webpages
It never fails to startle. When you simply copy text from a webpage, titles and all, simply pressing Ctrl+V to paste it in Word never goes well. You have the titles appearing in gigantic 20 point characters taking up your entire screen. One option to not have this happen would be to not use Ctrl+V at all. Instead, you could right-click and select the plain text paste option (with the A icon). Alternatively, you could set Word to never transfer source formatting to your pastings.
You just need to click on File, Options, Word Options and then Advanced. In the Cut, Copy and Paste section, under the When style definitions conflict field, simply choose Keep text only. This way, Word won’t care about what the formatting is at the source. It will turn everything into the formatting that’s already on your document.
Getting rid of the line
Word has a terrible habit of trying to guess at what you want to do (according to some default setting) and doing it for you – whether you want it at the moment or not. If you make the mistake of typing out 3 hyphens on a line and then pressing Enter, Word will right away turn it into a thick line across the page. Most intuitive ways to get rid of it don’t work.
In Word-speak, this line is called a border. To make sure Word never creates it, you need to go to the Border button in the Paragraph section on the Home tab on the Ribbon and then select No Border.
What are some of your Microsoft Word tips?