Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Word versions: 2007, 2010, and 2013. 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: Text Doesn't Wrap at Margin in Normal View.

Text Doesn't Wrap at Margin in Draft View

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated October 17, 2015)

1

Dave recently upgraded his copy of Word and noticed that the text displayed in Draft view wraps on the screen differently than it used to. In his earlier version of Word the text would wrap at the right margin, as it was shown on the Ruler. In the newer version the text extended past the right margin (as shown on the Ruler) and only wraps when the right side of the document window is reached.

The problem being described isn't really a problem. It is a "feature" of Word that has been available for many, many years. You can control this feature by following these steps:

  1. Display the Word Options dialog box. (In Word 2007 click the Office button and then click Word Options. In Word 2010 and Word 2013, display the File tab of the ribbon and then click Options.)
  2. Click Advanced at the left side of the dialog box.
  3. Scroll in the window until you see the Show Document Content section. (See Figure 1.)
  4. Figure 1. The advanced options in the Word Options dialog box.

  5. Make sure the Show Text Wrapped Within the Document Window check box is cleared.
  6. Click OK.

The check box in step 4, when selected, makes the text in Draft and Outline views extend the full width of the document window, without regard to where the margin is set. This only affects what you see on the screen; it does not affect any printouts. If the check box is cleared, then the margins are minded and the text wraps where you expect it to wrap.

The need for this feature is rooted in history. The original intent of Draft view (which used to be called Normal view) was to speed up work by foregoing an exact WYSIWYG format. In this view, Word does not worry about line breaks, margins and page breaks in the same manner as in the Print Layout view. Likewise, graphics objects are not displayed. The point is to release computer resources to facilitate doing the work of entering and editing content. The purpose of the Show Text Wrapped Within the Document Window setting is to allow even more information to appear on-screen, since WYSIWYG isn't being paid attention to in Draft view anyway.

It is not unusual for people, these days, to bypass using Draft view and instead using Print Layout view. The Show Text Wrapped Within the Document Window setting has no bearing on this view, since the essence of Print Layout view is to show a very close representation of what your final printout will look like. If you want to use Draft view, there is nothing wrong with that (I do it all the time), but you'll need to pay attention to settings such as the Show Text Wrapped Within the Document Window check box so that your display looks like you want it to.

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (10690) applies to Microsoft Word 2007, 2010, and 2013. You can find a version of this tip for the older menu interface of Word here: Text Doesn't Wrap at Margin in Normal View.

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

Displaying Actual Font Faces

Want to see font samples as you contemplate which fonts to use in your document? Word provides an easy way to do this.

Discover More

Aligning Borders with the Page Margins

Add a border to a paragraph and you may find that it extends to the left and right of the regular text margins. To pull ...

Discover More

Missing Fonts in a Letterhead

When you create a document (such as a letterhead) that you want multiple people to use, you need to be concerned with ...

Discover More

The First and Last Word on Word! Bestselling For Dummies author Dan Gookin puts his usual fun and friendly candor back to work to show you how to navigate Word 2013. Spend more time working and less time trying to figure it all out! Check out Word 2013 For Dummies today!

More WordTips (ribbon)

Moving Text without Affecting the Clipboard

Want a quick and easy way to move text (or other document elements) from one place to another in your document? Check out ...

Discover More

Inserting a Non-Breaking Space

In Word a non-breaking space will help you keep two words together on the same line. Here's two different ways that you ...

Discover More

Selecting a Line of Text

Many word processing programs include commands that allow you to select a line of text. Word doesn't, but you can use the ...

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 seven minus 2?

2016-04-26 03:27:37

guillaume

Thanks a lot!


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.