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 November 6, 2019)

5

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

Comparing Documents Top and Bottom

Word has a feature that allows you to compare two documents side-by-side. What if you actually want to compare the ...

Discover More

Weird Mouse Shortcut

If you like to use the mouse in your worksheet navigation efforts, you'll want to pay attention to this tip. Here you ...

Discover More

Can't Split the Document View

Word allows you to split the screen so that you can view two different parts of the same document. This can come in very ...

Discover More

Learning Made Easy! Quickly teach yourself how to format, publish, and share your content using Word 2013. With Step by Step, you set the pace, building and practicing the skills you need, just when you need them! Check out Microsoft Word 2013 Step by Step today!

More WordTips (ribbon)

Deleting All Text in Linked Text Boxes

Word allows you to place text in multiple text boxes and have that text flow from one text box to another. This tip ...

Discover More

Deleting Freezes Computer

Sometimes a strange object or text may appear in your document, as happened to Sharon. To complicate the situation, her ...

Discover More

Adding Half Spaces to Punctuation

Want a little more space just before some of your punctuation characters? You can add that spacing in a variety of ways, ...

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 6 - 4?

2020-05-21 15:01:58

YP

Did all the above in file > option > advanced > show document & general -- nothing worked to get the text to wrap to the visible window.
>>> I finally had to move the "right text margin icon" (little pyramid) to the left until the right text margin
was within the visible Word window.
At that point then text/word wrapping worked with either
regular ".docx" or ".opd" files.


2020-02-06 07:05:10

Chris

Thanks for yet another clearly explained resolution, I've used loads, big and small - you're the man.

(I'm only worried I was here in 2018 too...)


2019-12-25 19:05:16

Carolyn

Hi Allen,

How do you make this change in Word for Mac (2019)? Thanks!


2018-12-10 09:03:35

chris

Thank you, thank you, thank you! This has been driving me crazy Fixed!!!


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.