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How to replace hard returns with soft returns in Word?

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

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

Replace hard returns to soft returns with Find and Replace function

Replace hard returns to soft returns with VBA code

Replace hard returns to soft returns with Kutools for Word

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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 as follows.

doc-hard-returns-soft-1

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 hard returns to soft returns with Find and Replace function

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

Step 1: In Word 2007/2010/2013, click Home > Replace to open the Find and Replace window;

Alternatively, you can using shortcut by pressing Ctrl + H 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 Paragraph Mark from the Special drop-down list;

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

Step 5: Click Replace All.

Note: if you have selected a part of the document, it will indicate whether you want to find and replace in the whole document.

doc-hard-returns-soft-4


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

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

Step 1: Press “Alt-F11” in Word 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 doc-reverse-sign-6 button to apply the VBA.

The VBA code: replace all hard returns (paragraph marks) to soft returns (manual line breaks) in the whole document.

Sub ReplaceMLBwithPM()
Selection.Find.ClearFormatting
Selection.Find.Replacement.ClearFormatting
With Selection.Find
.Text = "^p"
.Replacement.Text = "^l"
.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 hard returns to soft returns with Kutools for Word

It’s the most convenient way to convert hard returns (paragraph marks) to soft returns (manual line breaks) 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 Paragraph Marks to Manual Line Breaks. See screenshot:

2. After clicking Convert Paragraph Marks to Manual Line Breaks, you will see the result as shown in the below screenshots:

Note:

With Kutools for Word’s Convert Paragraph Marks to Manual Line Breaks utility, you can not only convert all hard marks to soft marks from the whole document, but also convert all hard marks to soft marks from the selected part of the document.

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

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


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Comments (8)
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This comment was minimized by the moderator on the site
Tak, lige det jeg skulle bruge.

Mvh Lea
This comment was minimized by the moderator on the site
Thank you! great
This comment was minimized by the moderator on the site
I did exactly as you said and it did absolutely nothing-the hard returns are still there. What a waste of time.
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Thanks for helped to replace the hard enter to soft enter.
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I have a large ms. I've been working on in Word 2008, but on a recent trip oversees I had to reinstall Office 2008. The install went fine, but where I had been able to use the tab to indent after a soft break, it nests the entire previous and subsequent paragraph .5". How can I make it so that the tab functions the same way it does after a hard break?
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Thank you I was need to this
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Thanks for finally talking about >How to replace hard returns with soft returns in Word?
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Is there any reason the ^v option to replace a line-break is not working? I've looked at the formatting and it's got heaps of empty space between lines (extra lines, not paragraph spacing) and it's just saying that the item was not found... little help?
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