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: Shortcut for Show/Hide.
by Allen Wyatt
(last updated March 22, 2014)
Word has a number of non-printing characters that it commonly uses in a document. These characters include spaces, tabs, paragraph marks, and a few other such characters. When you are editing and formatting documents, it is often useful to view these characters, as they can affect the appearance of your document.
The normal way to display the non-printing characters is to click on the Show/Hide tool (it looks like it has a backwards P—a pilcrow character—on it). If you are loathe to remove your hands from the keyboard in order to use the mouse, you might want to memorize a quick little shortcut: Ctrl+* (that's the asterisk), which can also be written as Shift+Ctrl+8. This shortcut key toggles the Show/Hide tool on and off.
WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (13029) applies to Microsoft Word 2007, 2010, and 2013. You can find a version of this tip for the older menu interface of Word here: Shortcut for Show/Hide.
Do More in Less Time! Are you ready to harness the full power of Word 2013 to create professional documents? In this comprehensive guide you'll learn the skills and techniques for efficiently building the documents you need for your professional and your personal life. Check out Word 2013 In Depth today!
You can use the Clipboard to move information around in Word. You actually have access to two different clipboards in ...Discover More
One way you can navigate through a document is to jump from section to section. Here's the traditional way to quickly get ...Discover More
You get your document set up just the way you want it, and then notice that all of a sudden Word doesn't show any top or ...Discover More
FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in WordTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."
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.