Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Word versions: 2007, 2010, 2013, and 2016. 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: Removing Blank Pages at the End of Your Document.
by Allen Wyatt
(last updated May 13, 2017)
When you print out your document, you may notice that a blank page or two prints out at the end of the document. If this is the case with your document, chances are good that you have a bunch of empty paragraphs at the end of your document. Even though you can't see them on the screen (normally), they are there and take up extra space.
To delete the empty paragraphs, simply press Ctrl+End to go to the end of your document. Then press the Backspace key until you have deleted all the non-printing characters (such as empty paragraphs). You can tell when you are done by the position of the insertion point. If it is located next to the last character you want printed in your document, you are done deleting.
If you want to see the empty paragraphs that are at the end of your document—before you delete them—you can instruct Word to display non-printing characters. Just click the Show/Hide tool on the Home tab of the ribbon; it looks like a backwards P. When the tool is selected, you can see all the spaces, paragraphs, tabs, and other characters in your document—all the characters that normally don't show up on your screen. This can be very helpful for figuring out why something doesn't look quite right in your document.
Also, you should know that if the last thing in your document is a table, you won't be able to delete the last paragraph right after the table. (Word requires a paragraph mark at the very end of any document.) The best you can do in that situation is to highlight the ending paragraph mark and set it to a very small point size.
WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (11851) applies to Microsoft Word 2007, 2010, 2013, and 2016. You can find a version of this tip for the older menu interface of Word here: Removing Blank Pages at the End of Your Document.
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