Office solution: Replacing spaces with hyphens to create a hyphenated phrase

This week, learn the solution to last week's challenge: How would you add hyphens to create a hyphenated phrase?

Last week, I asked you to help a user who had to replace several spaces with hyphens to create a hyphenated phrase. The example phrase I used was the best-ever-annual-flower-arranging contest. If the original phrase contains spaces instead of hyphens, how would you quickly correct it, without manually deleting the spaces and inserting hyphens?

Bethernet was the first to suggest using the Replace feature, which is what I would recommend to users wanting to do something similar. First, select the text in question and click Replace in the Editing group on the Home tab. (In Word 2003, Replace is on the Edit menu.) In the Find What control, enter a space. In the Replace With control, enter a hyphen character (-). Then, click Replace All and Word will replace all the spaces with a hyphen character to quickly create a hyphenated phrase.

Rudi-S mentioned using the AutoText feature, which is a great idea if you enter the phrase often. That's a great idea Rudi-S. Thanks for playing along this week!


Susan Sales Harkins is an IT consultant, specializing in desktop solutions. Previously, she was editor in chief for The Cobb Group, the world's largest publisher of technical journals.


I teach technology and I am forever telling my students to do things using the least amount of key strokes and don't use the mouse unless you have to. I know I'm being picky however your solution uses 10 keystrokes/mouse clicks. If you do it manually it only takes 8, so until you have more than 5 hyphens it's more or just as efficient to do it manually. I know your premise was to not do it manually however it's just not efficient. cheers


CTRL+H is faster to invoke the Replace dialogue. And it works in most, if not all versions of Word.

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