Software

Quick Tip: Correct comma use

Quickly find extra commas in Word documents

Are your users sticklers about using correct grammar and punctuation in the documents they write or edit? If so, they've probably learned (and informed you) that Word's built-in grammar checker doesn't always catch the punctuation errors that users find themselves.

The problem
There's only one way to be absolutely, positively sure that documents don't contain extraneous commas, and that’s by reviewing every comma in the document. Fortunately, there's a way to quickly do this.

The fix
  1. Press [Ctrl]H to open the Find And Replace dialog box.
  2. In the Find What field, type a comma and leave the Replace With field blank.
  3. Click the Find Next button.
  4. When Word locates the first occurrence, inspect the text and make sure you've used the comma correctly. If you decide that the comma is extraneous, click the Replace button. Word will replace that comma with nothing and search for the next comma in the document. If you determine that you've used the comma correctly, click the Find Next button and continue your review.

This process helps you identify superfluous commas. Missing commas, on the other hand, are another story. Your users must proofread their text the old-fashioned way to locate places where commas are necessary.

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