Changing the Position of the Dollar Sign

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated March 11, 2017)

Steven often receives documents from people who incorrectly place the dollar sign after the amount instead of before (10$ instead of $10). He wonders if there is an easy way to find all instances where the dollar sign is after the amount and move it to before the amount.

This can actually be done quite quickly using the Find and Replace capabilities of Word. Here are the steps to follow:

  1. Press Ctrl+H. Word displays the Replace tab of the Find and Replace dialog box.
  2. Click the More button, if it is visible. (See Figure 1.)
  3. Figure 1. The Replace tab of the Find and Replace dialog box.

  4. Select the Use Wildcards check box.
  5. In the Find What box, enter this: ([0-9]{1,})$
  6. In the Replace With box, enter this: $\1
  7. Click Replace All.

The pattern entered in step 4 tells Word that you want to replace any number of digits followed by a dollar sign with (in step 5) a dollar sign followed by whatever was matched by the first part of the pattern in step 4. (The \1 indicates you want the first part of whatever was matched by the pattern, as denoted by parentheses.)

The pattern in step 4 won't work if there could be other characters mixed in with the numbers. For instance, if you use these steps and the original is something like 1,234.56$ then this find and replace sequence would end up with 1,234.$56, which is not what you want. If your document might contain these types of amounts, then you'll want to use the following pattern in step 4:

([0-9.,]@)$

The Replace With box (step 5) can remain as shown above. This new pattern allows for any contiguous series of digits (0-9), commas, and periods followed by a dollar sign. If you think that some of the amounts might have spaces before the dollar sign, then you could run a second find-and-replace operation and place space in the pattern just before the dollar sign. (Don't place the space within the brackets; you may not appreciate the results you get.)

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (1504) applies to Microsoft Word 2007, 2010, 2013, and 2016.

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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