The QQQ Trick for Word Formatting

Have you ever copied and pasted something into Word, only to discover it inserts paragraph returns in odd places? [You’ll need to have your Show/Hide button on to see them and other Word formatting.] This commonly happens when you copy and paste text from an email or a web page into Word.

Word Formatting

If you have a lot of text facing this problem, you’ll love this trick! I learned it from Mark Coker, founder of Smashwords. He calls it the QQQ Trick.

  1. Press CTRL+H, search for ^p^p and replace it with QQQ
  2. Search for ^p and replace it with nothing.
  3. Search for QQQ and replace it with ^p^p

Voilà‎ – you have reflowable text again. You may still have a little bit of clean up to do, but this trick is really fabulous.

This trick has other uses with other variations. Essentially, you’re using a wildcard – QQQ – as a temporary placeholder for something. Note: Mark chose QQQ because the letters are unlikely to ever appear in natural language.

Try it out and let me know how you like it by commenting below…

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *