Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Word versions: 2007 and 2010. If you are using an earlier version (Word 2003 or earlier), this tip may not work for you. For a version of this tip written specifically for earlier versions of Word, click here: Symbols for Non-Printing Characters.

Symbols for Non-Printing Characters

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated January 27, 2017)

When David uses the Show/Hide tool to display the non-printing characters in a document, he finds it helpful in figuring out formatting. By now he knows the meanings of many of the characters that are used to represent non-printing characters (paragraph, space, tab, etc.). There are other characters, however, that he can only guess at, like the degree symbol in place of some spaces or the tiny filled-in square that he thinks is something to do with orphan paragraphs and keeping things together. David wonders if there is a comprehensive list of all the non-printing character symbols and their meanings.

There are several places on the Web where you can find good information about Word's non-printing characters. Perhaps the best one available, however, is the one at the Word MVP site. Here's the article:

http://wordmvp.com/faqs/formatting/NonPrintChars.htm

The article is quite comprehensive, and it includes images that show what the symbol for each non-printing character looks like.

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (9407) applies to Microsoft Word 2007 and 2010. You can find a version of this tip for the older menu interface of Word here: Symbols for Non-Printing Characters.

Author Bio

Allen Wyatt

With more than 50 non-fiction books and numerous magazine articles to his credit, Allen Wyatt is an internationally recognized author. He  is president of Sharon Parq Associates, a computer and publishing services company. ...

MORE FROM ALLEN

Declaring Variables

Declaring variables in a macro is good programming practice. Here's how to do it and how to make sure they are all declared.

Discover More

Calculating an Age On a Given Date

Start putting dates in a worksheet (especially birthdates), and sooner or later you will need to calculate an age based on ...

Discover More

Problems with Default Workbook and Worksheet Templates

You can create a default template for both your workbooks and worksheets. These should be placed in the XLSTART folder, but ...

Discover More

Comprehensive VBA Guide Visual Basic for Applications (VBA) is the language used for writing macros in all Office programs. This complete guide shows both professionals and novices how to master VBA in order to customize the entire Office suite for their needs. Check out Mastering VBA for Office 2010 today!

More WordTips (ribbon)

Checking for Words and Phrases

You may want to determine if a document contains a certain set of words or phrases. There are a couple of ways you can make ...

Discover More

Replacing Text Selections

When editing a document, Word normally replaces whatever text you select with whatever you start to type. Here's how to turn ...

Discover More

Deleting a Page

Want to delete the current page? There is no automatic command to perform this task in Word, but you can create your own ...

Discover More
Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in WordTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

View most recent newsletter.

Comments

If you would like to add an image to your comment (not an avatar, but an image to help in making the point of your comment), include the characters [{fig}] in your comment text. You’ll be prompted to upload your image when you submit the comment. Maximum image size is 6Mpixels. Images larger than 600px wide or 1000px tall will be reduced. Up to three images may be included in a comment. All images are subject to review. Commenting privileges may be curtailed if inappropriate images are posted.

What is 7 + 6?

There are currently no comments for this tip. (Be the first to leave your comment—just use the simple form above!)


This Site

Got a version of Word that uses the ribbon interface (Word 2007 or later)? This site is for you! If you use an earlier version of Word, visit our WordTips site focusing on the menu interface.

Newest Tips
Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in WordTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

(Your e-mail address is not shared with anyone, ever.)

View the most recent newsletter.