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Replace Line, Paragraph, Carriage Break in MS Word

Our tips on MS-Word make your life easier and increase your productivity at work.
Samyak Lalit | June 11, 2012 (Last update: July 31, 2017)

Samyak Lalit is an Indian author and disability rights activist. He is the principal author and founder of projects like TechWelkin, WeCapable, Viklangta, Kavita Kosh among many others.

When we see two lines of words in an MS Word document, we don’t get to see what is separating them. There are severl characters that act as line break. There are several names; line break, new line, carriage return, paragraph break etc.

Today, while doing a bit of data processing, I was required to remove all the line breaks (carriage return) in an MS-Word document and replace line breaks with a comma. I was processing a long list of email addresses with one email address per line. And I wanted this list to become a comma separated list (CSV); so as to use it somewhere else.

In MS-Word, paragraph break is represented by invisible character (¶) which looks like a horizontally flipped P letter. You can toggle the visibility of this character by clicking a button given on the Home tab in MS Word. The button bears the same ¶ symbol. You should click this button to be able to see what exactly is separating the lines.

Our tips on MS-Word make your life easier and increase your productivity at work.

If lines are breaking because of paragraph break then ¶ will appear at the end of the lines. If lines are breaking due to line break (carriage return), a left-angled arrow symbol will appear at the end. Let’s first see how to deal with paragraph break:

How to Remove / Replace Paragraph Break
  • Open the Word document that you want to work on
  • Press CTRL + H to bring up the Find and Replace box
  • In the “Find what” box type ^p [this upward arrow character is called caret and is usually available on a number key]
  • In “Replace with” box type a comma
  • Click on Replace All button.

Thus all the paragraph breaks in you document will get replaced by a comma. You can use whatever character(s) you like in “Replace with” box. For example, if you want to replace every paragraph break with two paragraph breaks –then you should type ^p^p in “Replace with” box.

If you simply want to remove paragraph breaks; just leave the “Replace with” box blank. And you’ll get a monolithic chunk of text!

READ ALSO: How to find ant replace formatting

How to Remove / Replace Line Break, Carriage Return (Enter key)
Follow the same process as given above. Instead of finding paragraph sign (^p), now you should look for line break or carriage return sign (represented by ^l). Therefore, type ^l in “Find what” box and replace it something else (or with nothing).

NOTE: This article is part of my MS Word Guide. This guide solves your day to day MS Word problems. Easily!

So, this is how you can replace line breaks, paragraph breaks and carriage returns in MS Word document. Please le t me know if you have any questions about this topic. I will be glad to try and assist you. Thank you for using TechWelkin.


56 responses to “Replace Line, Paragraph, Carriage Break in MS Word”

  1. Humam Ghazal says:

    It worked! Thanks alot!

  2. shimelis says:

    thank you for this application

  3. Asha says:

    The solution to replace a line break was so valuable to me. Thank you very much.

  4. Joel says:

    hi, do you know how to remove a Line Feed and to replace it with a Paragraph tag?

  5. Jason Pinaster says:

    Very helpful!

    I use WORD with an automatic 12 pt separation between paragraphs. But sometimes when I cut and paste into a different app, the space disappears, leaving me with one long paragraph.
    What I did was find/replace, putting ^p in the find and ^p^p in the replace all box. This created a manual space which survived the cut and paste process.

  6. Amirhossein Mokhtarpour says:

    Thank you so much for this tip

  7. Rachel Knox says:

    Thank you so much!! I have been looking all over for an answer to this problem as I had over 300 pages of line breaks that needed to change to paragraph breaks and other people explain line breaks and paragraph breaks as if they are one and the same. Having the ^l command means I got rid of them in seconds instead of hours. Thanks so much :)

  8. gajendra says:

    this is awesome man… it helped me a lot

  9. ly brwon says:

    Is there any way to use Find/Replace to find a paragraph mark and replace it with a Style Separator. I have a lengthy document and would like to select all instances of Heading 2 and replace the Paragraph Mark with a Style separator. This would save quite a bit of space and ink. I would then do the same thing for Heading 3. The document is too long to do this by hand and I can’t find a way to insert a Style Separator in the Replace Box. Copying the style separator to the clipboard and pasting it into the Replace Box doesn’t work either.

  10. Sarah Jones says:

    Thank you very much for your help – saved so much time!!! ^p worked for me :)

  11. Anonymous says:

    Thanks mate for writting this article. It’s really useful.

  12. pat says:

    I have 120 page document with a line space at the end of each line. ^p does not work for me in Word 2013. any suggestions

  13. Andrei says:

    Great article. You saved a lot of wasted time by sharing this. Cheers!

  14. Mathew says:

    Hi this does not work for me. I have a table at the bottom of my document and under it word has inserted a line break. Problem it the line break goes over the page so I have a unnecessary blank page at the end of the document. I won’t let me delete it with delete or backspace. I tried the find P, replace with and put nothing in the box, but that doesn’t work. Thanks in advance for any help :-)

  15. Calin Nicolae - Adrian says:

    Thank you so much. I can’t express my joy. The article was very useful. My work will now be much faster!

  16. mohan kumar says:

    how to find and replace all words starting with as in the beginning of a line?

  17. Ina says:

    I can’t thank you enough for all these solutions. You are saving me much time and lots of frustration.

  18. Kat.S says:

    I just wanted to thank you very-very-very much for this article! It was a really big help! Really, many thanks!

  19. omer says:

    hi, how can I remove a repetitive line just before (upper line) the paragraphs in whole document. (word)


  20. Vladimir Logos says:

    Thanks for the help!

  21. arada galmish says:

    love you Hindu man,

  22. MANIKANDAN says:


  23. Linson says:

    Thanks a lot. Saved a lot of time. Cheers.

  24. Amarapali Thorath says:

    Paragraph mark ( Paragraph mark )

    ^p (doesn’t work in the Find what box when the Use wildcards option is turned on), or ^13

  25. Amita says:

    To remove blank lines or enter function and keep the list of words together in word, just copy the list and paste in excel sheet. Go to find & select and select “Blanks”. Now delete all blank cells and copy them into word. All lines will be next to each other.

  26. Ravinga Gunawardana says:

    Thanks Dude. Love from Sri Lanka. Saved a lot of time.

  27. Onyinyechi says:

    Please, I’ve got a paragraph break issue (where in the middle of my sentence, the word breaks and creates a paragraph). An unnecessary one. I tried removing the paragraph by using a wildcard that replaces all paragraph starting with a small case letter if found. It did not work. And i cannot do it manually. The file is over 200 pages. Help please

    • Jeanbean says:

      You probably have a “non-breaking space” in each of those places. If you reveal formatting (from toolbar: Format – Reveal Formatting – click box for “Show all formatting marks”), the non-breaking space will show up as an empty circle. (Regular spaces will show up as a dot.)

      The reason people insert a non-breaking space into a document is to keep two or more words together on the same line.

      To replace the non-breaking spaces with regular spaces, use the “Replace” function (from toolbar: Edit – Replace). In the “Find what” box, type this:


      (^ is usually found on the same key with the number 6)

      In the “Replace with” box, type a space.

      Click the “find next” button to see if it finds the empty circle symbol for a non-breaking space, then click “replace.” If that does what you want, you can use the “replace all” button to change them all instantly. Good luck.

  28. J Meyer says:

    OMG. You have saved my sanity this morning.

  29. Carlos says:

    Thank you! You saved me a lot of time. thanks to these tips :)

  30. Susan says:

    thank you so much!!!!

  31. Kristian says:

    Wow Thank you !! Very quick and it works

  32. Ute says:

    Thank you sooo much! I used to remove the line breaks in DNA sequences by hand, always wondering if there is a representation like ^p for paragraph breaks, however I could not find it (not knowing what the thing was called in the first place).
    I’m happy now.

  33. Rick says:

    Maybe my question is more simplistic. In a document, I have a short list .. each on a separate line.
    Created by typing the text and pressing CR … so there is a ^p at the end of each line.
    However as well as going to the start of next line .. it puts in a blank line.

    This may be desirable for a paragraph, but on a short list where I do not want this extra blank line hoew do I remove (or prevent this)

  34. Asim says:

    Thank you so much. i had search many tips but not found but your (^p ) find and replace has worked. Nice.

  35. mute says:

    Thank you. I’ve wanted to know this for a very long time

  36. jitendra says:

    any trick which convert paragraph into sentence or new line started after each full stop.

  37. Serge Hagege says:

    Replace paragraph, line, tab with ^p ^l or ^t
    but for unseccable space (not sure that’s the proper english: indivisible, inséparable); I mean the little ° indicating that a line cannot break between this two letters (usually quotation mark as in word°”.
    I want to get rid of all of those ° in a very long text
    Thanks for your help

    • Lalit Kumar says:

      Hi Serge, sorry I could not fully understand your question. But you should try ^w or ^s and see if the problem resolves.

    • Jack says:

      Serge, to get rid of the ° marks, you can replace all of those with a space. (paste the ° in the “Find what” field, and press the space bar once in the “Replace with” field.

  38. ASD says:

    Thanks a lot, a very useful post for me.

  39. Ezekiel says:

    I can’t express my joy. The article was damn useful. My work will now be much faster. Thanks much.

  40. Bex says:

    Thank you!! Very quick and it works

  41. Rob says:

    Useful article! I was slightly amused by the text “this upward arrow character is called carrot…” I think you mean ‘caret’, as opposed to the pointy orange root vegetable!

  42. Bob Rosenberg says:

    There seems to be no way in Word to find a word at the end of a line (which, as I recall, you could do in WordPerfect–but that’s spilled milk!). That is, not a paragraph or soft return (^p or ^l), but a line wrap forced by the margin. Is that so? I’ve looked for quite some time and not found a solution. Thanks!

  43. Tammy says:

    What is the Replace code for a text break?

  44. Michael Barton -Plumb says:

    Wow you have no idea how long i have been searching for this. It is so easy now that someone has showed me how. Your incredible thank you so much.

  45. Guest says:

    Wow thankyou so much. You have no idea how hard i had to search for this

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