Skip to main content

How to replace soft returns with hard returns in Word?

Author: Tech Support Last Modified: 2013-05-30

If you want to format a Word document by replacing manual line breaks (soft returns) with paragraph marks (hard returns) in it. How can you do to replace soft returns with hard returns in Word quickly? This tutorial will show you several ways to convert soft returns to hard returns.

Replace soft returns to hard returns with Find and Replace function

Replace soft returns to hard returns with VBA code

Replace soft returns to hard returns with Kutools for Word

Recommended Productivity Tools for Word

Kutools for Word: Integrating AI 🤖, over 100 advanced features save 50% of your document handling time.Free Download

Office Tab: Introduces the browser-like tabs to Word (and other Office tools), simplifying multi-document navigation.Free Download


Hard Returns (paragraph marks) and Soft Returns (manual line breaks):

You can show paragraph marks and other hidden formatting symbols by clicking this Show/hidden button in the Home tab. See screenshot:

Hard Returns (paragraph marks) Symbol:

Soft Returns (manual line breaks) Symbol:

doc-hard-returns-soft-9 doc-hard-returns-soft-10

arrow blue right bubble Replace soft returns to hard returns with Find and Replace function

Office Tab: Brings tabbed interfaces to Word, Excel, PowerPoint...
ot word middle ad 100
Enhance your workflow now.      Learn More about Office Tab       Free Download

Normally you can replace soft returns (manual line breaks) with hard returns (paragraph marks) with the Find and Replace function, and it’s more convenient than replacing them one by one.

Step 1: Click Home > Replace to open the Find and Replace window;

Step 2: Click More button to bring up more Search Options;

Step 3: Place the cursor in the Find what box, and select Manual Line Break from the Special drop-down list;

Step 4: Place the cursor in the Replace with box, and select Paragraph Mark from the Special drop-down list;

Step 5: Click Replace All.


arrow blue right bubble Replace soft returns to hard returns with VBA code

You can use the VBA code to replace soft returns (manual line breaks) with hard returns (paragraph marks) quickly.

Step 1: Press “Alt-F11” to open the Microsoft Visual Basic for Application window;

Step 2: Click Module on the Insert tab, copy and paste the following VBA code into the Module window;

Step 3: Then click Run button to apply the VBA.

The VBA code of converting soft returns (manual line breaks) to hard returns (paragraph marks):

Sub ReplaceMLBwithPM()
Selection.Find.ClearFormatting
Selection.Find.Replacement.ClearFormatting
With Selection.Find
.Text = "^l"
.Replacement.Text = "^p"
.Forward = True
.Wrap = wdFindContinue
.Format = False
.MatchCase = False
.MatchWholeWord = False
.MatchByte = False
.MatchAllWordForms = False
.MatchSoundsLike = False
.MatchWildcards = False
.MatchFuzzy = False
End With
Selection.Find.Execute Replace:=wdReplaceAll
End Sub


arrow blue right bubble Replace soft returns to hard returns with Kutools for Word

It’s the most convenient way to convert soft returns (manual line breaks) to hard returns (paragraph marks) by using Kutools for Word. Kutools for Word provides one click operation to accomplish the converting.

Kutools for Word, a handy add-in, includes groups of tools to ease your work and enhance your ability of processing word document. Free Trial for 45 days! Get It Now!

After installing Kutools for Word, you can replace soft returns with hard returns as follows.

1. Please apply this utility by clicking Kutools > More > Convert Manual Line Breaks to Paragraph Marks. See screenshot:

2. After clicking Convert Manual Line Breaks to Paragraph Marks, you can see all soft marks are converted to hard marks from the whole document.

Note:

Besides convert all soft marks to hard marks from the whole document, Kutools for Word’s Convert Manual Line Breaks to Paragraph Marks utility allows you to convert all soft marks to hard marks from the selected part of the document.

For more detailed information about Manual Line Break to Paragraph Mark of Kutools for Word, please visit: Manual Line Break to Paragraph Mark.

If you want to replace hard returns with soft returns, please visit: replace hard returns with soft returns in Word.


Best Office Productivity Tools

Kutools for Word - Elevate Your Word Experience with Over 100 Remarkable Features!

🤖 Kutools AI Assistant: Transform your writing with AI - Generate Content  /  Rewrite Text  /  Summarize Documents  /  Get Quick Answers, all within Word

📘 Document Mastery: Split Pages  /  Merge Documents  /  Export Selection in Various Formats (PDF/TXT/DOC/HTML...)  /  Batch Convert to PDF  /  Export Pages as Images  /  Print Multiple Files at once...

Contents Editing: Batch Find and Replace across Multiple Files  /  Resize All Pictures  /  Transpose Table Rows and Columns  /  Convert Table to Text...

🧹 Effortless Clean: Sweap away Extra Spaces  /  Section Breaks  /  All Headers  /  Text Boxes  /  Hyperlinks  /  For more removing tools, head to the Remove group...

Creative Inserts: Insert Thousand Separators  /  Check Boxes  /  Radio Buttons  /  QR Code  /  Barcode  /  Diagonal Line Table  /  Equation Caption  /  Image Caption  /  Table Caption  /  Multiple Pictures  /  Discover more in the Insert group...

🔍 Precision Selections: Pinpoint Specific Pages  /  Tables  /  Shapes  /  Heading Paragraphs  /  Enhance navigation with more Select features...

Star Enhancements: Navigate to Any Location  /  Auto-Insert Repetitive Text  /  Toggle Between Document Windows  /  11 Conversion Tools...

👉 Want to try these features? Download Kutools for Word now! 🚀
 
Comments (6)
No ratings yet. Be the first to rate!
This comment was minimized by the moderator on the site
You can just CTRL-H and enter ^l in the "Find what" box and ^p in the "Replace with" box.
This comment was minimized by the moderator on the site
Excellent reference. Thanks for taking the time to post.
This comment was minimized by the moderator on the site
Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. So much. Without the knowledge of the different breaks and the different between the paragraph symbol and the left turning arrow symbol, it is nearly impossible to figure out how to replace a "soft return" with a "hard return". A manual like break is left over from Word Perfect and over time MS Word kept this feature but really doesn't make it easy to understand what it is.
This comment was minimized by the moderator on the site
thank you - I can never find this stuff if Word Help.
This comment was minimized by the moderator on the site
Great tip! You're a lifesaver.
There are no comments posted here yet
Load More
Leave your comments
Posting as Guest
×
Rate this post:
0   Characters
Suggested Locations