One of my readers – Joe – recently asked for some help regarding removing spaces in Word. He thought that the problem with the text was additional spaces, but when I looked into it, it appears that something else is causing the issue.

Here is a piece of sample text and you can see that it is a series of short lines which my reader wants to make into one continuous paragraph.

To see what is causing him issues click the Show/Hide¶ button on the Home tab of the Word Ribbon.

At the end of each line you will find either a Paragraph Marker or a Manual Line Break – each is different and you need to work out which you have at the end of each line. Also determine if there is a space before each of the markers. If there is not a space you will need to add it yourself. Here is a mix of both markers but no spaces:

To make the lines flow into each other, from the Home tab on the Ribbon click the Replace option. If you need to replace Paragraph Markers, enter ^p into the Find What box. If you need to replace a Manual Line Break then enter ^l (lower case L) into the Find What box.

If you need to add a space, click in the Replace With box and press the Spacebar once – if you don’t need to add a space, then leave the Replace With box empty.

Click Find Next and then click Replace. Check to make sure the replacement is working as expected. If it is, click Replace All and lines will be joined together into a single paragraph of text.

Typically you only have to replace one type of marker and not both, but if you have both, then you will need to find and replace each individually.

When you’re done click Show/Hide¶ again to hide the extra characters from view.

Helen Bradley