Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Word versions: 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, and Word in Office 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: Replacing the Last Comma.
by Allen Wyatt
(last updated November 24, 2018)
Rebecca is looking for a way to replace the last comma in a sentence with the word "and." She apparently needs to perform this type of edit quite a bit, and thought there might be a quick and easy way to doing the edit rather than needing to manually do it.
There is no built-in way to do this specific edit in Word, but you can create a simple macro that will search for the last comma, delete it, and then type the desired word. The following is an example of such a macro.
Sub ReplaceLastComma() Dim J As Integer Dim bRep As Boolean Dim sRaw As String Selection.Sentences(1).Select sRaw = Selection.Text bRep = False For J = Len(sRaw) To 1 Step -1 If Mid(sRaw, J, 1) = "," Then Selection.Collapse Direction:=wdCollapseStart Selection.MoveRight Unit:=wdCharacter, Count:=J - 1 Selection.Delete Unit:=wdCharacter, Count:=1 Selection.TypeText Text:=" and" J = 1 bRep = True End If Next J If Not bRep Then Selection.Collapse Direction:=wdCollapseStart End Sub
The macro selects the current sentence (the one in which the insertion point is located, and then steps backwards through the text of the sentence. (The text is assigned to the variable sRaw for ease of processing.) If a comma is found, then the insertion point is positioned just before the comma in the document, the comma is deleted, and then a space and the word "and" is typed.
If you prefer that the macro not delete the comma, you can make the quick change of deleting the line that does the deletion (and changing the line before it so that the movement is "J+1" rather than "J-1"), or you can simply add a comma before the space in the text that is being typed by the macro.
WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (12378) applies to Microsoft Word 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, and Word in Office 365. You can find a version of this tip for the older menu interface of Word here: Replacing the Last Comma.
Learning Made Easy! Quickly teach yourself how to format, publish, and share your content using Word 2013. With Step by Step, you set the pace, building and practicing the skills you need, just when you need them! Check out Microsoft Word 2013 Step by Step today!
Want to select a chunk of text in a document? Perhaps the easiest way to do this involves using the mouse in conjunction ...Discover More
Some fractions Word automatically converts to single characters, some it doesn't. Here's why that happens and what you ...Discover More
Want a little more space just before some of your punctuation characters? You can add that spacing in a variety of ways, ...Discover More
FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in WordTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."
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.