I have OCRed a document. The OCR software has created lots of NULL characters in the finalized Word 2010 document. I know that because I have found this converter, which has transformed one of the questionable strings into 122 117 110 101 104 NULL 32 109 101 110 100).

I have a few search-and-replace operations I'd like to perform. Null prevents me from doing this.

How do I find all NULL characters in from this document?

Tried so far in the "Search" field:

  • ^NULL
  • ^000 (ASCII)
  • ^u0, ^u00, ^u000, ^u0000 (Unicode)

I don't mind if the solution requires me to use OpenOffice/LibreOffice or VBA.

More about NUL:

Unrelated questions:

  • You could copy and paste the text to notepad. If the NULLs persist then use tr on the text document. (E.g. ` tr "0x000" " " to replace NULL with a white space). – Hennes Mar 13 '13 at 15:33
  • @hennes What tool should I replace it with? How do I enter tr in Notepad? – user 99572 is fine Mar 13 '13 at 15:42
  • Tr is a separate program (TRanslate). It should be installed by default on OS/X. If you are using windows instead you can download it from unxutils.sourceforge.net But before you try it, first copy it from winword.exe, paste it to notepad and save it. That is probably enough. – Hennes Mar 13 '13 at 15:47

I've figured it out eventually.

NULL is ad in hexadecimal code (at least according to this website: http://www.string-functions.com/string-hex.aspx).

adis 173 in unicode (according to here: http://easycalculation.com/hex-converter.php).

When I search in Word for ^u173, it works like a charm.

|improve this answer|||||
  • Interesting, I get a ų when I enter this in my word 2010. – MDMoore313 Mar 13 '13 at 17:08
  • @MDMoore313 Funny, I get the same as you when I do a Unicode shortcut (Alt-X or Alt-C). But when I do a Alt+0173, I get NUL, which in Word displays similar to a hyphen. – user 99572 is fine Mar 13 '13 at 19:28

Try holding down the ALT key, typing 255 on the number pad, and releasing the ALT key.


Try this:

There is a symbol which looks like ...


... which is U+2400 (press and hold Alt while you type 9216 - or in recent 
versions of Word type 2400 and press Alt+X)

Taken from http://www.wordbanter.com/showthread.php?t=78318. I can confirm it worked for me, but I don't know if this is they symbol your referring to.

|improve this answer|||||
  • 1
    0xFF ('ÿ') is quite different than 0x00 (NUL). – Adam Caudill Mar 13 '13 at 15:28
  • Strange, everywhere else in windows it shows blank. This used to be the null in older versions. – MDMoore313 Mar 13 '13 at 15:34
  • Didn't work. But I found out eventually - posted my own answer. Thx for your trouble – user 99572 is fine Mar 13 '13 at 16:19

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.