Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Word versions: 2007, 2010, and 2013. If you are using an earlier version (Word 2003 or earlier), this tip may not work for you. For a version of this tip written specifically for earlier versions of Word, click here: Highlighting Every Thousandth Character.

Highlighting Every Thousandth Character

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated May 18, 2013)

Hakan needs a macro that counts the characters (without spaces) in a word document and highlights every 1000th letter. Creating such a macro is rather straightforward—you simply need to examine all the characters in a document, in turn, and only count those that aren't spaces. The following is a simple little macro that will do just that:

Sub CountThousands1()
    Dim J As Long
    Dim X As Integer

    X = 0
    With ActiveDocument
        For J = 1 To .Characters.Count
            If .Characters(J) <> " " Then X = X + 1
            If X = 1000 Then
                .Characters(J).Select
                Selection.Range.HighlightColorIndex = wdYellow
                X = 0
                Beep
            End If
        Next J
    End With
End Sub

The macro is simple enough; it examines the Characters collection, which contains all the individual characters in a document. The problem with the macro is that it is slow—very slow. Word isn't terribly efficient in examining individual characters in this manner. (It appears that each time you reference a member of the Characters collection, Word needs to examine all the characters from the beginning of the document, all over again.)

A different approach is to simply step through the document, expanding a selection until you get to 1,000 non-space characters.

Sub CountThousands2()
    Dim X As Integer
    Dim sRaw As String
    Dim sProc As String
    
    Selection.MoveRight Unit:=wdCharacter, Count:=1000, Extend:=wdExtend
    While Len(Selection) = 1000
        sRaw = Selection
        sProc = Replace(sRaw, " ", "")
        X = 1000 - Len(sProc)
        While X > 0
            Selection.MoveRight Unit:=wdCharacter, Count:=X, Extend:=wdExtend
            sRaw = Selection
            sProc = Replace(sRaw, " ", "")
            X = 1000 - Len(sProc)
        Wend
        Selection.Collapse Direction:=wdCollapseEnd
        Selection.MoveLeft Unit:=wdCharacter, Count:=1, Extend:=wdExtend
        Selection.Range.HighlightColorIndex = wdYellow
        Selection.Collapse Direction:=wdCollapseEnd
        Selection.MoveRight Unit:=wdCharacter, Count:=1000, Extend:=wdExtend
    Wend
End Sub

Start this macro with the insertion point at the beginning of the document. The macro then grabs a thousand characters, assigns that selection to a variable (sRaw), creates a variable that has all the spaces removed from it (sProc) and then figures the length of sProc. If it is less than 1,000, then the selection is extended by however many characters it was short and the process is repeated. When the selection contains 1,000 non-space characters, then the highlight is set and the macro goes on to the next block of characters.

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (7871) applies to Microsoft Word 2007, 2010, and 2013. You can find a version of this tip for the older menu interface of Word here: Highlighting Every Thousandth Character.

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

Creating Dependent Drop-Lists

Drop-down lists are handy in an Excel worksheet, and you they can be even more handy if a selection in one drop-down lists ...

Discover More

Simple Relative References in External Links

Linked data can be essential in pulling information from one workbook to another. One downside of links, however, is that ...

Discover More

Changing the Maximum Undo Levels

Want to change the number of "undo" steps available when editing? You can't, because Word doesn't' really have a maximum. ...

Discover More

Do More in Less Time! Are you ready to harness the full power of Word 2013 to create professional documents? In this comprehensive guide you'll learn the skills and techniques for efficiently building the documents you need for your professional and your personal life. Check out Word 2013 In Depth today!

More WordTips (ribbon)

Adding Parentheses

Need to add parentheses around some word or phrase? Here's a quick macro that makes this simple edit in one step.

Discover More

Adding a Macro to the Quick Access Toolbar

One of the easiest ways to quickly access a macro is to assign it to the Quick Access toolbar. Here's how you can make the ...

Discover More

Determining the Number of Paragraphs in a Document

When using a macro to process a document in some way, you often need to know the number of paragraphs in the document. (This ...

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. 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 7 + 5?

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 ribbon interface (Word 2007 or later)? This site is for you! If you use an earlier version of Word, visit our WordTips site focusing on the menu 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.