Friday, August 03, 2012

Word Show/Hide

One tool I use when working with a document in Microsoft Word is the Show/Hide button. Some refer to this as the Show Paragraph Marks button, but it shows more than just the paragraph mark.

As you may know, I like to use shortcut keys at the keyboard level. Well when you mouse over the button in Word 2007 or 2010 (I did not check older versions), the popup tells you that the shortcut key is Ctrl+*. That is correct, but to access the * you must hold down the shift key. I would rather say this shortcut is Shift+Ctrl+* or you might say Shift+Ctrl+8.

What this button does is display the hidden characters in a document, which includes the end of paragraph marks (backwards P), the spaces between words as dots, tabs as right arrows, and new lines as down to the left arrows.

Being able to see these hidden marks is especially helpful when copy and pasting from an email. It shows quickly why the sentences do not fill the line allowing you to easily remove the offending marks.