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Marks that are formatted

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Certain marks are not visible by default, and alter the way text appears in documents. For instance, with markings for formatting enabled, both hard and soft returns will be visible (shown left). In this case the soft returns appear like arrows with a left-facing direction, while the hard returns are the paragraph mark, which is a reversed “P”. Formatting marks are commonly used to identify issues with the layout of a document, its appearance as well as any printing issues and can be set to enable or deactivated based on the preference you have.

Disabling or enabling formatting marks

ms office - MS Word 2016 Turn Off Formatting Marks - Ask Different

The feature for formatting marks can also be activated or turned off through the use of the symbol for paragraphs within the toolbar as shown in the photo. If the button for formatting marks is not displayed in your toolbar, it is possible to modify the setting. Go to for the view dropdown menu (Microsoft Word 2003 and older) and on the tab Home tab (Microsoft Word 2007 and later) for the option to show the button to format marks.

Different types of formatting marks

Below is a listing of different formatting marks you’ll notice when they’re enabled, with a brief explanation of each.

Conditional Hyphen

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Any hyperbole that is not manually is displayed as an hyphen mark that is conditional. They look like a dash and have an elongated line to the right (shown to the left).

Field code

A field code can be described as a code or command that tells Microsoft Word to insert special items, like the present date, current page’s number or any custom graphics. For instance, if you want to display the current date inside a document, utilize the “date” fieldcode.

To create a new field code press Ctrl + F9 For a toggle of the field codes display and to switch the display of field codes Alt + F9 .

Line breaks

A Line break is an interruption in the text that does not create an entirely new paragraph. It is usually done by using the shortcut Shift + Enter . The image below illustrates what the lines break looks like an arrow symbol that is pointing downwards as well as to the left. The exact symbol can be seen in the Enter key on numerous keyboards on computers.

Pagination breaks

A page break manually added to the document is displayed in the formatting mark when turned on. Below, you will find a picture and an illustration of an example of Page break mark. Also, there is an area break and a column. To eliminate pagination breaks move your cursor to the towards the break point on the page and then press the Del .

Paragraph marks

The Pilcrow or paragraph mark is followed by any new paragraph within the document. In default, when you press the Enter , Microsoft Word and most other programs can create new paragraphs. The paragraph will continue until Enter is again pressed. If you’d like to go into a line, but not to end the paragraph by pressing Enter, you can do so. Shift + Enter to make a line break to break up the paragraph to create a line break.

Space Character

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The spaces character one of the most commonly used marking in formatting and appears by a single dot in the place of every spaces in documents. These marks assist in distinguishing two spaces instead of one and create tabs with spaces as opposed to the tab. The image to left shows an example using a one-space in between A and characters.


Any tab within the document will be represented by an arrow towards on the left ( tab marker) as illustrated in the image. If you have tabs with more tabs than tabs, there will be several arrows. If spaces are not tabs to create the text you’ll see spaces characters mentioned earlier.

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