How To Show Formatting Marks In Word

To show formatting marks in Word, go to the “Home” tab, click on the paragraph symbol in the “Paragraph” section of the ribbon.

Have you ever wondered how to make the hidden formatting marks visible in Microsoft Word? Formatting marks, also known as “non-printing characters,” can provide valuable insights into the structure and layout of your document. Whether you’re a novice user or an experienced writer, understanding how to display these marks can greatly enhance your overall editing and formatting experience. In this blog post, we will explore the step-by-step process for revealing formatting marks in Word, helping you gain a better understanding of your document’s formatting and making it easier to make precise edits. So, let’s dive in and uncover the secrets to displaying formatting marks in Microsoft Word!

How To Show Formatting Marks In Word: Step-by-Step


Step 1: Open Microsoft Word

To begin, locate the Microsoft Word application icon on your computer’s desktop or in the Start menu, and double-click to launch it. Once Word is open, click on “File” and select “New” or simply press “Ctrl + N” to create a new document.

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Step 2: Navigate to the Home Tab

At the top of the screen, usually located in the navigation bar, you’ll find a row of tabs. Look for the tab named “Home” and click on it to navigate back to the main or starting page of the website or application.

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Step 3: Look for the Paragraph group

Within the Home tab, located on the toolbar towards the right side, you will find the “Paragraph” group of options. These options allow you to modify the formatting and layout of your text, such as alignment, spacing, and indentation.

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Step 4: Clicking on Show/Hide symbol

The Paragraph group offers a symbol resembling a backwards ‘P’ known as a pilcrow. By clicking this button, you can easily turn on or off the visibility of formatting marks in your document.

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Step 5: Confirmation of enabled formatting marks

These symbols, such as dots, arrows, and backward ‘P’, represent different formatting elements like spaces, tabs, and paragraph breaks. Enabling these symbols indicates successful activation of formatting marks.


In conclusion, knowing how to show formatting marks in Word is a valuable skill that can save you time and frustration when editing documents. By being able to visualize the formatting elements such as spaces, paragraph breaks, and hidden characters, you can easily identify and fix formatting errors.

These marks provide crucial insights into the structure and layout of your document, helping you maintain consistency and professionalism. Whether you’re proofreading, formatting, or collaborating with others, the ability to show formatting marks is an essential tool.

Remember that while formatting marks can be helpful, they might not always be necessary to have them displayed. In some cases, they can be distracting or clutter the appearance of your document. Hence, being able to toggle them on or off with a simple shortcut can be convenient.

Now that you’re armed with the knowledge of how to show formatting marks in Word, you can confidently navigate through complex formatting issues and ensure your documents are well-designed and visually appealing. So go ahead and impress your colleagues and friends with your newfound expertise in Word formatting.

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