Here is the scenario – You have inherited a document and have begun editing it. The document has numerous paragraphs that begin with incomplete sentences. You know where these are as the paragraphs begin with a lowercase letter. So the question is how do you use Find and Replace to locate these paragraphs and add an ellipsis (…) before the character that starts the paragraph.
This is a perfect example of when you would use the Wildcard feature in Find and Replace.
Follow the steps below to learn how:
- At the first instance of an incomplete sentence in your document, create an ellipsis character by clicking Alt | CTRL | . (period).
- Select the ellipsis and click Ctrl+C to copy it to the Clipboard.
- Move your cursor so that the ellipsis character is no longer selected.
- Click Ctrl+H to display the Replace tab of the Find and Replace dialog box.
- Click the More button, if it is available.
- Be certain Use Wildcards is selected.
- In the Find What area, key in: (^13)([a-z])
- In the Replace With area, key in: \1^c\2
- Click Replace All.
What you entered into the Find What box will locate any end-of-paragraph marker (Pilcrow) followed by any lowercase letter. The parentheses around these individual elements form two groups that can be referenced in the Replace With box 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 instance, the Clipboard contains your ellipsis, you entered in step 1 above.
This will save you lots of time and keystrokes and you all know I love that!