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 :)

{ 25 comments… read them below or add one }

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lucarinf September 13, 2011 at 4:22 am

Thank you Anna. My pleasure :)

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Thank you :) Will be posting more when I find the time.

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Would be fine with me. Thank you :)

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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 :)

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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

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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

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pujari April 1, 2014 at 9:36 am

usefull..thnaks

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