Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Word versions: 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, Word in Microsoft 365, and 2021. 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: Adding an Ellipsis to the Beginning of Some Paragraphs.

Adding an Ellipsis to the Beginning of Some Paragraphs

Written by Allen Wyatt (last updated January 20, 2024)
This tip applies to Word 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, Word in Microsoft 365, and 2021


1

Steven has a document he is editing, and it has many paragraphs that begin with incomplete sentences. He can tell where these are because the paragraphs always begin with a word that starts with a lowercase letter. He wants to use Find and Replace to locate these problem paragraphs and add an ellipsis (...) before the character that starts the paragraph. Steven can figure out what to search for, but can't quite figure out what to replace it with.

This is a job for the wildcard capabilities of Find and Replace. Here are the steps to follow in doing the replacement:

  1. Somewhere in your document, create an ellipsis character. (Perhaps at the beginning of your first incomplete sentence.)
  2. Select the ellipsis character and press Ctrl+C to copy it to the Clipboard.
  3. Move the insertion point so that the ellipsis character is no longer selected.
  4. Press Ctrl+H. Word displays the Replace tab of the Find and Replace dialog box.
  5. Click the More button, if it is available. (See Figure 1.)
  6. Figure 1. The Replace tab of the Find and Replace dialog box.

  7. Make sure the Use Wildcards check box is selected.
  8. Enter the following in the Find What box: (^13)([a-z])
  9. Enter the following in the Replace With box: \1^c\2
  10. Click Replace All.

The pattern you enter into the Find What box (step 7) locates any end-of-paragraph marker followed by any lowercase letter. The parentheses around these individual elements form two groups that can be referenced in the Replace With box (step 8) by the \1 and \2, respectively. The ^c in the Replace With pattern indicates that you want to use the contents of the Clipboard in the replacement. In this case, the Clipboard contains an ellipsis character, placed there in step 2.

You can discover more about using wildcards in your searching by going to either of these:

https://wordribbon.tips.net/C0921
http://www.gmayor.com/replace_using_wildcards.htm

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (11324) applies to Microsoft Word 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, Word in Microsoft 365, and 2021. You can find a version of this tip for the older menu interface of Word here: Adding an Ellipsis to the Beginning of Some Paragraphs.

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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2024-01-30 14:55:44

Timothy J. McGowan

Awesome tip! Thanks, Allen!

Is there any strong reason to use ^c rather than simply pasting the ellipsis in the middle of the replacement string? Are you demonstrating yet another wildcard, or is there any reason to avoid using the actual copied character directly?

-- Timothy


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