It’s not uncommon to receive Excel files with leading spaces:
We could use formulas to tackle this problem, but that would be rather time consuming, especially if this is a recurrent issue.
Download ASAP utilities
Go to the ASAP Utilities tab in Excel Ribbon, then Text and therein select option no. 9 (Delete leading, trailing and excessive spaces). Job done.
If you can’t stand the sight of those long m dashes (—) and would rather automatically replace them with its littler cousin, the n dash (–), there’s something you can do in MS Word:
- Press Ctrl+H to invoke the Find and Replace Dialog and hit More>>
- Tick the Use Wildcards checkbox
- In the Find What: box type ^+ and in Replace With: type ^=
Hit Replace All. Job done.
MS Word allows you to do a lot more than literal searches in the Find dialogue (Ctrl+F). Wildcard characters can make search operations much more flexible and powerful.
The two most basic wildcards are ? and *.
They are essentially similar in use.
? is used to represent a single character and * represents any number of characters. On their own, these have limited use.
- s?t will find sat, set, sit, sot and any other combination of three characters beginning with ‘s’ and ending with ‘t’. It will also find that combination of letters with a word.
- s*t will find all the above, but will also find secret, serpent, sailing boat and sign over document, etc.
To make use of this feature, ensure you have the Use wildcards feature ticked in the Find dialog.
When working on a large Word document with at least two different fonts, it’s hard to think of a more tedious exercise than having to manually replace say all instances of lovely Courier New by Arial for whatever reason.
There’s an easy way to swap fonts in one go. Press Ctrl+H to invoke the Find and Replace Dialog and hit More>>
Insert the cursor in the Find what: box, then navigate to the Format drop-down at the bottom of the dialog, then Font and select the font and/or any attributes you wish to replace. Repeat the procedure on the Replace with: box, hit Replace All and you’re done.
When working with text in Excel, it’s not always possible to display the entire contents of a cell even after selecting the Wrap Text option.
When this happens, select all the affected cells, navigate to the Cells group of the Home tab and click AutoFit Row Height from the Format drop-down menu
The content of the affect cells will be displayed in full
Say you have a bilingual Word file where source and target text are separated by paragraphs or some other logical delimiter (a tab for example):
You may wish to have the text displayed in a more user-friendly way for proof-reading or review purposes. Select the text you wish to convert, click the Insert tab on the Ribbon and choose Convert Text to Table from the Table drop-down menu:
For this particular example, we would choose 2 Columns and Separate Text at: Paragraphs.
You will then have your bilingual text displayed as a table, which you can then repurpose in Excel or even create a TM.