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: Transposing Two Words.

Transposing Two Words

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated October 2, 2018)

3

It is not uncommon, when editing a document, to transpose two adjacent words. For instance, you may want the text "often used" to be "used often" instead. Word has no native capability to transpose two words, but you can create a macro that will do the transposition for you. The following macro, called Transpose, accomplishes the task:

Sub Transpose()
    Selection.MoveLeft Unit:=wdWord, Count:=1, Extend:=wdExtend
    Selection.Cut
    Selection.MoveRight Unit:=wdWord, Count:=1
    Selection.Paste
    Selection.MoveLeft Unit:=wdWord, Count:=1
End Sub

To use the macro, all you need to do is position the insertion point between the two words you want to transpose and then run the macro. The macro selects the word to the left of the insertion point and cuts it. It then moves one word to the right and pastes the word it previously cut.

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 (13337) applies to Microsoft Word 2007, 2010, and 2013. You can find a version of this tip for the older menu interface of Word here: Transposing Two Words.

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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What is 8 + 7?

2018-10-02 12:51:23

Morris Manning

David, seems like a candidate for a macro in your Personal Workbook, called by a hot-key or button on Quick Access. As for the original example, Karl has a good point. Macros are best for repetitious or complicated actions. However, someone with difficulty managing precise mouse actions or who does not use hot-keys, a macro attached to a QA button might make sense.


2018-10-02 12:29:27

Karl Gregg

Surely a simpler approach in Word is to select one word and simply mouse drag it to the required position.


2018-10-02 09:50:06

David in Mississippi

Even though this tip is more than 4 years old as I read it, it's a good one. Thanks.

A similar macro I would like to have, and could probably develop myself if I would just take the time (I have been a professional MS Access VBA developer), is "SwapAroundAND" - the action and effect would be this: You have two words with "and" between them, and you want to switch their positions. Change "red and green" to "green and red" or "red, and green" to "green, and red". You simply double-click on the word before the "and" to select it, and run the macro, preferably with a hotkey.

The problem with this macro, and the one in this tip, is that you have to LOAD it into each individual document to run it. And you would probably need to run it only one time. The setup would take longer and be more hassle than the labor of making the swap manually. Do you know of any way to embed macros such as these (and their associated hotkey triggers) into the default template?


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