Show or Hide Paragraph Marks, Tabs and Other Nonprinting Symbols in Microsoft Word

by Avantix Learning Team | Updated  November 17, 2020

Applies to: Microsoft® Word® 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019 and 365 (Windows)

You can show or hide paragraph marks or symbols and other nonprinting characters (such as tabs, spaces and soft returns) in your Microsoft Word documents using the Ribbon or a keyboard shortcut. It’s generally a good idea to display paragraph marks and other formatting symbols when working on Word documents. Formatting symbols display only on screen and do not print.

Recommended article: How to Quickly Remove Hard Returns in Word Documents

A paragraph in Word is anything with a hard return after it (you have pressed Enter or Return).

The following symbols are typically displayed when you turn on formatting symbols :

Paragraph – ¶

Space (dot) – .

Tab – →

In the following sample Word document, Show/Hide ¶ is turned on:

Sample Word document with Show or HIde Paragraph Marks or Symbols turned on.

Showing or hiding paragraph marks and other nonprinting symbols using the Ribbon

To show or hide paragraph marks and other nonprinting symbols in Word using the Ribbon:

  1. Click the Home tab in the Ribbon.
  2. In the Paragraph group, click ¶ (Show/Hide ¶).

Below is the Paragraph group in the Ribbon:

Show Hide Paragraph Marks or Symbols in the Paragraph group in the Ribbon.

Showing or hiding paragraph marks and other nonprinting symbols using a keyboard shortcut

To show or hide paragraph marks and other nonprinting symbols in Word using a keyboard shortcut, press Ctrl + Shift + 8 (the asterisk key at the top of the keyboard).

When you display formatting symbols, Word will also display manual page breaks and section breaks in your document.

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Summary
How to Show or Hide Paragraph Marks in Word Documents
Article Name
How to Show or Hide Paragraph Marks in Word Documents
Description
You can show or hide paragraph marks or symbols and other nonprinting characters (such as tabs, spaces and soft returns) in your Microsoft Word documents using the Ribbon or a keyboard shortcut. It’s generally a good idea to display paragraph marks and other formatting symbols when working on Word documents. Formatting symbols display only on screen and do not print.
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Avantix Learning

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