MS Word provides a set of powerful regular expression codes. You can use them for carrying out complex Find and Replace functions.
Sometimes, we need to swap the order of two (or more) words and change their sequence. Depending upon the size of the document, this task could turn out to be nightmarish. But with proper use of regular expressions, you can perform it in a jiffy! Here is how you can do it.
Let’s assume you have three words in one line, like:
First Second Third
And you want to recorder these words as:
Second First Third
Here are the steps to hit bull's eye!
Open document in which order change is to be done.
Press CTRL + H to bring up the Find and Replace box.
In Find what box, type (<*>) (<*>) (<*>)
In Replace box type \2 \1 \3
Click on “More >>” button to display advanced options
Select “Use wildcards” checkbox
Click on “Replace All” button.
That’s it! The words order will be changed!
NOTE: Make sure there is one space between adjacent (<*>)
NOTE: Make sure there is one space between \2 and \1 and \3
ALSO READ: More MS-Word Tips and Trick
If you are astonished to see the quick results of an otherwise seemingly tedious task, you might be wondering how it happened! Well, details of regular expressions is beyond the scope of this article, so I will not go into that. But in simple way, each of (<*>) represents one word and \2 \1 \3 represent sequence of words. So, if in “Replace with” box you will write \3 \1 \2 the resulting sequence of words would be
Third First Second
As I mentioned before, make sure that you give a space where it is required. By the way, you can also reverse the order of a list in MS Word.
Please let me know if you have any questions on this topic. I will be happy to try and answer. Thank you for using TechWelkin.