Removing Extra Breaks in Word Documents

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It isn't uncommon to want to change the formatting of your Word document after you've created it. Changing a document's formatting in Word is usually fairly easy. You simply select the text you'd like to change. Then you apply the new formatting.

However, you can run into complications. For example, you may not have used the formatting options to specify the spacing between paragraphs or lines of text.

Instead, you may have inserted extra returns. Do you have to scroll through your document, removing the extra returns manually?

The process would be tedious. Fortunately, there is an alternative. You can use Word's Find and Replace feature to remove the extra breaks.

Removing Extra Breaks

  1. Press Ctrl + H to open the Find and Replace dialog box.
  2. In the first box, enter ^p^p (the "p" must be lower case).
  3. In the second box, enter ^p.
  4. Click Replace All.

Note: This will replace two paragraph breaks with one. You can specify other options, depending on the number of paragraph breaks you'd like between paragraphs. You can also replace a paragraph break with another character if you choose.

If you copied the text from the Internet, this might not work for you. That's because there are different types of breaks in HTML files. Not to worry, there is a solution:

  1. Press Ctrl + H to open the Find and Replace dialog box.
  1. In the first box, enter ^l (the "l" must be lower case).
  2. In the second box, enter ^p.
  3. Click Replace All.

You can then replace double breaks as necessary.

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Your Citation
Marshall, James. "Removing Extra Breaks in Word Documents." ThoughtCo, Aug. 3, 2017, thoughtco.com/removing-extra-breaks-in-word-documents-3540330. Marshall, James. (2017, August 3). Removing Extra Breaks in Word Documents. Retrieved from https://www.thoughtco.com/removing-extra-breaks-in-word-documents-3540330 Marshall, James. "Removing Extra Breaks in Word Documents." ThoughtCo. https://www.thoughtco.com/removing-extra-breaks-in-word-documents-3540330 (accessed January 17, 2018).