How to Show or Hide Non-Printing Characters in Word?

Generally, when you type something in Microsoft Word, you see only the things that you type. However, it contains several other characters on your screen that you do not type. Word refers to them as non-printing characters. Now, you might be wondering what these non-printing characters do. These characters help Microsoft Word determine the end of a line or a paragraph, tabs, spaces, etc.

These non-printing characters help you understand the layout of your document. You have to make them visible, for which you can keep reading this risewindows article. When these are made visible, you can determine things like when you have used two spaces between words or added tabs. However, you get to choose whether you want to make them visible or not and get an idea of how your document will look once you print it.

How to Always Hide or Unhide Non-Printing Characters in Word?

Use the following steps to always display or hide the non-printing characters in a Microsoft Word document:

Step 1: Go to the Word document you want to show or hide the non-printing characters.

Step 2: Click on the File menu.

Step 3: Find Options in the left sidebar on the backstage screen.

Step 4: Once the options panel opens, look for the Displaytab in the right sidebar.

Step 5: Look for the section, “Always show these formatting marks on the screen.” Check the boxes to display the non-printing characters:-

  • Hidden text
  • Optional hyphens
  • Object anchors
  • Show all formatting marks
  • Tab characters
  • Spaces
  • Paragraph marks

Similarly, in case you don’t want to display them, uncheck the boxes.

Step 7: Click on OK.

Once you have completed the above steps, Word will display the non-printing character that you’ve chosen.

How to Temporarily Show or Hide the Non-Printing Characters in Word?

The following steps will help you temporarily show or hide the non-printing characters:-

Step 1: Go to the Word document you want to show or hide the non-printing characters.

Step 2: Click on Home tab.

Step 3: In the “Paragraph” group, click on the Pilcrow icon. It will look like a backward capital P.

After completing the above steps, you will find the non-printing characters on your screen. In case you want to hide them, click on the Plicrow icon again in the Home tab.

That is it.

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