How to Show Nonprinting Characters in Word 2007

By Dan Gookin

Seeing nonprinting characters in Word 2007 documents can be a great help when formatting text; creating tables; and editing documents, newsletters, and brochures. Nonprinting characters include spaces, tabs, paragraph marks (hard returns), soft returns, nonbreaking spaces, and field codes.

You can show all nonprinting characters all the time or some of the time, or toggle off and on the ones you want to see (or ignore).

Start by setting nonprinting characters to display all the time.


1Click the Office button.

Look in the upper-right corner.


2From the Office menu, click the Word Options button.

Look in the bottom-right corner.


3Click the Display button.

Find Display in the left panel of Word Options.


4In the Display window, look for the Always Show These Formatting Marks on the Screen section.

Put a check mark in the Show All Formatting Marks check box. Then click OK to exit Word Options.