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How can I improve the layout of some text that I have imported into Word which has carriage returns at the end of each line?

If you simply replaced every return with a space or nothing, you would end up with the entire document as one paragraph. Instead you need to carry out a sequence of Find and Replace commands, as follows:

Microsoft Office 2016

  1. From the Home tab, Editing Group, choose Replace.
  2. In the Find What box, type ^p^p (this stands for two consecutive paragraph marks)
  3. In the Replace With box type {} (or anything that is not already in the document).
  4. Click on Replace All so that every double paragraph mark is replaced with {}.
  5. Position the cursor back in the Find What box, and enter ^p (single paragraph mark).
  6. In the Replace With box, enter a single space.
  7. Click on Replace All - all single paragraph marks are changed to a space.
  8. In the Find What box, type {}.
  9. In the Replace With box, type ^p^p.
  10. Click on Replace All - the double paragraph marks are put back.
  11. In the Find What box, enter two spaces.
  12. In the Replace With box, enter one space.
  13. Click on Replace All - double spaces are changed to single spaces.

Your document should now look as it would if it had been typed into Word.

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This is question number 278, which appears in the following categories:

Created by Jason Bailey on 27 July 2001 and last updated by Adrian Chorlton on 1 August 2016