Replace Hard Returns with Soft Returns in a Google Doc

Hi there.

I write very long show notes for my garden podcast which features poetry.

In the poetry section, I prefer to use soft returns instead of hard returns.

I'm new to KM - trying to create a hot key that will take the text of a poem in a Google Doc and then transform the hard returns into soft returns.

So far, I can't get KM to help with this.

Any suggestions?


What character(s) is used to denote a "soft return"?

Once you know that it should be simple to use a KM Search and Replace action, using for "Regular expression" and:
Search for:

Replace with:
whatever the soft return character is

I use shift+return on the keyboard for a soft return but I don't know how to convey that in KM characters

What is the purpose of the "soft return"?

I found this:
How to use find+replace to replace newline (\n) with soft linebreak or vertical tab (\v)

but I don't see any way in KM to create a vertical tab character.
I tried this, but it does NOT work:


I also tried using the KM Hex to Unicode for a VT, but that did not work either:


Maybe @peternlewis or others will have some ideas.

Try this (not the input and output, just the search and replace):

Screen Shot 2020-08-12 at 6.59.53 PM

The vertical tab is an ASCII character. Decimal 11, hex 0B. Unicode 2B7F is a glyph that represents the vertical tab, not the vertical tab itself.


Thanks. I searched everywhere for the unicode/hex for VT -- couldn't find it.

I used your example and it seems to work OK.
I pasted the results into Google Docs, and it looks OK.
But since I don't know what the effect or purpose is, I don't know if the results are correct.

@GardenerPodcast, you will have to test and tell us.

1 Like

There is a chart listing the various ASCII Control Characters on Wikipedia.

I'm not sure which languages support \v (that's a pretty uncommon one), but I'll add it in for a future version.


If I'm understanding your question correctly, the purpose of soft return is to move to a new line, but not create a new paragraph, which is treated by most word processors differently. For example, you may want to specify a different space after or before a paragraph that is not just an extra line in between (important formatting control for readability if you are publishing online or especially print). If you are using ordered or unordered lists, you may want to move to a new line without creating a new list item. It's not unlike having proper spacing after a period using variable-width fonts vs. requiring two spaces because readability requires it with monospaced fonts in prose