How to show formatting marks in MS Word

3 Ways to Show Formatting Marks in MS Word

  • Using the Show or Hide formatting marks button
  • Using the Keyboard shortcut
  • Using the Word Options dialog box

It’s important to note that formatting marks will not appear when you print your documents.

Method 1: Using the Show or Hide Formatting Marks Button

Step 1: Open the Word Document.

Step 2: Locate the Paragraph group.

The next step you need to do is to focus on the Paragraph group, which contains the button that will display the formatting marks. To do this, ensure that the Home tab is active. If not, you need to click it from the ribbon. Upon clicking, different sets of controls grouped accordingly will appear below it. From here, you will need to locate the Paragraph group.

Step 3: Find the Show or Hide formatting marks button. 

From the Paragraph group, locate the Show or Hide formatting marks button which is signified by a pilcrow symbol (¶). Confirm if it’s the right button by moving your mouse cursor over it. A tooltip will appear describing its function.

Step 4: Display the formatting marks using the Show or Hide formatting marks button.

With the Show or Hide formatting marks button already located, click it to display all formatting marks in your document.

You can always toggle between showing and hiding these marks by clicking this button.

Method 2: Using the Keyboard Shortcut

Step 1: Open the document that you need to format.

Step 2: Show the formatting marks by pressing the shortcut key.

Press the Ctrl + Shift + 8 keys simultaneously.

The paragraph marks will appear on your document.

Toggle between show or hide marks by pressing the same shortcut key.

Method 3: Using the Word Options Dialog Box

Step 1: Open the document

Step 2: Open the Word Options dialog box.

With a document already open, click the File tab to display the Start screen of MS Word.

From the left panel of the Start screen, click the Options control to display the Word Options dialog box.

Step 3: Locate the section “Always show these formatting marks on the screen”.

This section contains the settings that you need to configure. You can find this section by clicking the Display option from the Word Options dialog box.

Located in this section are the formatting marks with their corresponding checkboxes.

Step 4: Select the formatting marks you want to display in your documents.

From the list of formatting marks, select each option that you want to appear in your documents.

Do it by ticking the checkbox adjacent to your selection. Remember that you can always deselect an option by ticking its checkbox again.

Step 5: Save your settings.

Click OK and save the settings.

The formatting marks you selected earlier will now appear on all your documents.

You can always revert your settings by following the same steps, but instead of selecting options, you will have to deselect them. 


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