Getting strange ¶ characters in MS Word: how to remove them

Those strange ¶ symbols are called pilcrow signs or paragraph signs and they show the end of paragraphs. They’re useful to see when you’re formatting and editing e-books and don’t print at all, but could be distracting.

Fortunately, there’s an easy way to remove them.

  • Click the top menu item Tools->Options
  • Click View
  • Look for ‘Formatting Marks’, and uncheck the option ‘All’
  • Click OK

Or for newer versions…

  • Click the top menu item ‘Review’
  • Look for ‘Show Markup’ and click
  • Look for ‘Formatting’ and uncheck

OR

  • Click View
  • Move down to Toolbars and choose Standard, for standard toolbar
  • You should see a Pilcrow icon on the toolbar that you can click to either show or hide

Hope this helps :)

{ 44 comments… read them below or add one }

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Anna Pampani April 5, 2013 at 6:38 pm

Thank you .It worked great.

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lucarinf April 10, 2013 at 7:53 am

So glad it helped :)

Reply

Tanuj Kumar September 28, 2013 at 11:38 am

It didnt work. I tried uncheking formatting but whenever i am restarting word it comes again. i didnt evenn go when i uncheked formatting. i also tried uninstalling and restalling office.
please guide. it distracts me from working

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lucarinf November 14, 2013 at 6:09 am

My apologies, I haven’t been on this blog for quite awhile. If you’re still having that problem, maybe the information on this page might help.

http://office.microsoft.com/en-ca/word-help/show-or-hide-formatting-marks-HA010370559.aspx

To turn off formatting marks:

  • Click the File tab.
  • Under Help, click Options.
  • Click Display.
  • Under Always show these formatting marks on the screen, uncheck the boxes for any formatting marks that you do not want to show.

Hope this helps.

Reply

brian February 5, 2015 at 1:14 pm

Great, your info was great, was easy and worked. Thanks alot, you saved me. I had this symbol ¶ added into all my documents. Thanks again

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Asif March 13, 2014 at 1:30 pm

Hiii…
I am getting that strange symbol in my microsoft word 13 and I still have it. I have tried those steps that you have suggested. But it didnt work for me :( . Could someone help me?

Reply

lucarinf April 2, 2014 at 7:38 am

Have you tried this? Maybe the information on this page might help.

http://office.microsoft.com/en-ca/word-help/show-or-hide-formatting-marks-HA010370559.aspx

To turn off formatting marks:

Click the File tab.
Under Help, click Options.
Click Display.
Under ‘Always show these formatting marks on the screen’, uncheck the boxes for any formatting marks that you do not want to show.

Hope this helps.

Reply

Vijay Avarapu March 29, 2015 at 2:39 am

thanks alot for ur blog and to u too.. 😀

Reply

Tarun March 18, 2014 at 4:29 am

I like this information. It was precise, systematized and to the points. Great work!

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pujari April 1, 2014 at 9:36 am

usefull..thnaks

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Prasanna June 5, 2014 at 1:51 pm

This article helped a lot. Thanks a ton !

Reply

andy July 14, 2014 at 7:41 pm

Thank you !!!!!

Reply

Mekala September 9, 2014 at 7:05 pm

Office 2013 – Home tab there is ¶ character before style box, if you click that accidental, this weird characters appear. Unchecked ¶ to remove this mark.

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sandy October 30, 2014 at 7:08 am

For word 2007,
Go to Home –> Under paragraph tab –> Uncheck the symbol which is appearing

In my case this symbol “¶ ” was appearing.

Reply

hmt0211 October 31, 2014 at 11:41 am

tq so much as I eventually can remove all these kind of weird symbols alry ^^

Reply

robinson November 27, 2014 at 12:29 am

Thanks for the help :)

Reply

deb January 12, 2015 at 9:54 am

Fantastic! Took 2 seconds to clear it. Thanks

Reply

Bridgette January 13, 2015 at 6:22 am

Great! this really helps those who don’t know much about software. I highly approve.

Reply

Bimal January 16, 2015 at 10:29 am

Thanks

Reply

paul March 24, 2015 at 12:40 pm

Hi!
Do you know those little white rectangles that you have to fill in when doing a grammar exercise online? I need to know how to remove them using Find/Replace but I don’t know how they are named. Can you help me?
Thanks!!!

Reply

Ahmed nabil March 25, 2015 at 9:17 am

u did really helped me , thanks alot :)

Reply

sylvia rigby April 5, 2015 at 1:42 pm

thank you thought i was never going to get rid of it thanks for information

Reply

Saravanan April 14, 2015 at 1:54 pm

Thank you

Reply

abdullah May 9, 2015 at 10:35 am

You saved my life.

Thanks a lot dude <3

Reply

Luis Arteaga May 14, 2015 at 12:47 am

You save my life buddy, i even uninstall Ms office and reinstall it again because the symbols i was getting, no way to get rid of them, you save my life, thanks a lot.

Reply

Joe May 14, 2015 at 8:23 pm

Thanks for this I must have keyed in a shortcut by accident and was tearing my hair out trying to remove them.

Reply

Edmund May 27, 2015 at 6:53 am

Thanks

the below worked like a Bomb, how did it get there in the first place?

Click the top menu item Tools->Options
Click View
Look for ‘Formatting Marks’, and uncheck the option ‘All’
Click OK

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