How to Remove Carriage Returns From Text

By Craig Witt

Sometimes referred to as "carriage returns," line breaks are a central component of all word-processing and text-editing programs. Without them, you could not create paragraphs or lists, or separate your content into sections. For most documents, the manual removal of a line break is a quick task; pressing the "Backspace" key once or twice solves the problem. For blocks of text with hundreds or thousands of line breaks, however, this method is often too time-consuming. Fortunately, OpenOffice.org Writer, Notepad++ and Microsoft Word all support the automated removal of line breaks.

Using OpenOffice.org Writer

Step 1

Copy and paste your text into an OpenOffice.org Writer document.

Step 2

Click "Tools" in the top menu bar and select "AutoCorrect."

Step 3

Select the "Options" tab.

Step 4

Check the box labeled "Combine single line paragraphs if length greater than 50%."

Step 5

Click "OK."

Step 6

Press the "Ctrl" and "A" keys simultaneously to highlight the text.

Step 7

Click "Format" in the top menu bar and select "Default Formatting."

Step 8

Click "Format" again, select "AutoCorrect" and choose "Apply."

Using Notepad++

Step 1

Copy and paste your text into a Notepad++ document.

Step 2

Highlight a single line break by single-clicking at the start of one line, dragging up to the end of the previous line, and releasing your click.

Step 3

Press the "Ctrl" and "C" keys simultaneously to copy the line break.

Step 4

Press the "Ctrl" and "H" keys simultaneously to open the "Replace" menu.

Step 5

Click within the "Find What" field, press the "Ctrl" and "V" keys simultaneously to paste the line break, and click the "Replace All" button. Leave the "Replace With" field blank.

Using Microsoft Word

Step 1

Copy and paste your text into a Microsoft Word document.

Step 2

Press the "Ctrl" and "F" keys simultaneously and then select the "Replace" tab.

Step 3

Click the "More" button.

Step 4

Click within the "Find What" field, and then click the "Special" button and select "Manual Line Break."

Step 5

Click "Replace All."