Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Word versions: 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, and Word in Microsoft 365. 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: Transposing Two Characters.

Transposing Two Characters

Written by Allen Wyatt (last updated December 19, 2020)
This tip applies to Word 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, and Word in Microsoft 365


1

I generally call myself "fumble fingers" when I do it, but it happens nonetheless. I'm typing along, and all of a sudden I notice that I have transposed two characters in a word. For instance, I type form instead of from. Unfortunately, AutoCorrect can't be programmed to correct my mistake, since both form and from are valid words.

If you find yourself doing this, the following macro will be of interest. It can be used to provide a command left out of Word—that of transposing two characters. All you need to do is position the insertion point between two characters you want to transpose and then issue the macro.

Sub TransposeCharacters()
    With Selection
        .MoveLeft Unit:=wdCharacter, Count:=1, Extend:=wdExtend
        .Cut
        .MoveRight Unit:=wdCharacter, Count:=1
        .Paste
        .MoveLeft Unit:=wdCharacter, Count:=1
    End With
End Sub

This macro is made more valuable if you assign it to a keyboard shortcut, as described in other issues of WordTips. Once this is done, you can fumble your fingers all you want, and then transpose the characters without ever removing your fingers from the keyboard.

Note:

If you would like to know how to use the macros described on this page (or on any other page on the WordTips sites), I've prepared a special page that includes helpful information. Click here to open that special page in a new browser tab.

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (10606) applies to Microsoft Word 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, and Word in Microsoft 365. You can find a version of this tip for the older menu interface of Word here: Transposing Two Characters.

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

Peculiar Font Differences

Have you noticed page layout differences when you open a document on different systems? There are a number of reasons why ...

Discover More

Converting Tables to Charts

Put numeric information in a table and you can then convert that information to a graphical chart using Microsoft Graph ...

Discover More

Resetting Paragraph Formatting

Tired of the formatting used in a paragraph? One way to 'start over' is to make sure that the formatting is reset to its ...

Discover More

Create Custom Apps with VBA! Discover how to extend the capabilities of Office 2013 (Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, and Access) with VBA programming, using it for writing macros, automating Office applications, and creating custom applications. Check out Mastering VBA for Office 2013 today!

More WordTips (ribbon)

Different Ways of Inserting Dates

Word provides a couple of different ways you can insert the current date into a document. Which method should you choose? ...

Discover More

Returning to Where You Were Before Finding Something

When you use the Find and Replace dialog box to do editing, you could easily lose track of where you were before ...

Discover More

Using Optional Hyphens

Adding hyphens to your document can affect the way in which Word wraps text from one line to the next. Optional hyphens, ...

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}] (all 7 characters, in the sequence shown) 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 five more than 6?

2021-01-08 15:39:16

Andrew

I do this without clobbering the Clipboard like this (assuming just the two characters to be transposed are selected):

With Selection
.Text = .Characters(2).Text & .Characters(1).Text
End With

Andy.


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.

Videos
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.