Hide formatting marks in Microsoft Word 2007

by on February 20, 2010

Q: How come when I am typing I see dots instead of spaces and paragraph signs when I hit enter and what I can do to make this not show?

A: This happens when you have some form of Show Formatting on. This is useful to some people so they can see exactly what is going in on their document. It allows you to see what are tabs vs what might be spaces and other information that is useful in some situations. For most people this information is just annoying and distracts them from doing what they want to do. The key here is you need to turn off Show Formatting but that can be easier said than done if you don’t know the right spots to turn it off.

The key here is that most people will go to the Home tab in Word 2007 and they will then go to the Paragraph group and they will click on the Show/Hide button for the Formatting (which happens to be the paragraph sign, ie a funny looking backwards P.

The problem is that this might not actually hide all formatting marks. I am not sure whose idea it was to do things this way but to make sure no formatting marks show you have to click on the funny Word logo in the top left corner and then select Word Options. From here you want to click Display and then you need to clear all the check marks under Always show these formatting marks on the screen.

At this point you will be free to work on your documents without having the distraction of the formatting marks.

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