How can I most easily go from finding some text in the Navigation Pane to having the focus back on the beginning of first found instance of that text in the document? I am going through long documents that have no paragraph breaks, but I know what each paragraph starts with. I have to press Enter before the first found instance of what I know should be the beginning of the next paragraph.

So, currently I Ctrl+F to the Navigation Pane and search for the text at the beginning of the next paragraph (e.g., "While this"). Then I have to move my hand from the keyboard and use the mouse to put the focus before the first "While this" occurrence so that I can press Enter to create the new paragraph. I have thousands of these to do, and my hand gets wiped out. I've searched but haven't found any keyboard shortcuts if they exist. Any suggestions?

  • Welcome to SuperUser! Great question -- I've run into the same thing myself, but not on this scale. – hBy2Py Jun 2 '15 at 15:05

In Word 2013 for Windows, there is a way, but it's a bit awkward. Press F6 three times and then use Ctrl+Left Arrow to navigate to the beginning of the search phrase.

There might be an easier way, especially if you have so many changes. If your task boils down to something along the lines of "I need to insert a paragraph mark in front of every occurrence of search phrase", then you might be in luck.

If you click the More button on the Replace tab of the Find and Replace dialog box, you have a number of additional options to work with.

  1. In Find What, type your search phrase.
  2. Move focus to Replace With, click the Special button, and then choose Paragraph Mark. This puts a "^p" in the Find What box.
  3. Click the Special button again and then choose Find What Text. This add a "^&" to the Find What box.
  4. Use the Find Next and Replace buttons to verify your changes. Undo All is handy, too.

It might take a bit of experimentation to pull off completely. Sometimes, you it takes more than one step. For example, I sometimes make two passes. The first replaces the found text with something like "<!>" (which I know doesn't appear anywhere else in the document). In the second pass, I replace the "<!>" with whatever I couldn't get the first pass to handle correctly.

Once you work it all out, though, it can save a tremendous amount of effort. You can use this trick to make all sorts of changes, including replacing formatting, style changes, and so on. Take some time learn the special characters. It'll pay off in the long run, especially if you do a lot of similar editing.

Hope this helps...

-- Lance

  • Thanks, Lance. The keystrokes at the beginning of your suggestion work fine and are what I was looking for, but they take too long. I just tried using Word's macros but somehow it won't work like when I do it manually. I'll keep at it. – Marcos Goodman Jun 2 '15 at 18:37

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