How to Turn Off the Paragraph Symbol in Microsoft Word

Turning off the paragraph symbol in Word is a simple process that can be done in just a few steps. First, go to the “Home” tab in Word. Then, in the “Paragraph” group, click on the paragraph symbol, which looks like a backward ‘P’. This will toggle the paragraph marks off. Now you know how to remove those pesky formatting symbols from your document!

After you complete the action of turning off the paragraph symbol, your Word document will no longer display the formatting symbols that can clutter up your page. This means a cleaner, more readable document without the distraction of dots for spaces, arrows for tabs, and the paragraph symbol for paragraph breaks.


Have you ever been working on a document in Microsoft Word and noticed a bunch of symbols that look like they’re in a secret code? These symbols represent spaces, tabs, and paragraph breaks. While they can be helpful for editing and formatting purposes, let’s be honest, sometimes they’re just plain annoying. So, what do you do when you want a cleaner look without these symbols? You turn them off!

The paragraph symbol, also known as the pilcrow, can be particularly distracting. It’s that little backwards ‘P’ that pops up at the end of every paragraph. For some, it’s a useful tool for editing and formatting. For others, it’s an unnecessary addition that they want to get rid of. Whether you’re a student, a professional writer, or someone who just likes a tidy document, knowing how to toggle this feature on and off is essential. So, let’s dive into the steps to get rid of the paragraph symbol and improve the readability of your document.

Step by Step Tutorial to Turn Off the Paragraph Symbol in Word

Before we start, let’s clarify what we’re trying to achieve. By following these steps, you will be able to turn off the paragraph symbol, making your document look cleaner and more professional.

Step 1: Open the “Home” tab

Go to the “Home” tab in the ribbon at the top of Word.

This tab contains most of the formatting tools you’ll need while working on a Word document, including font styles, bullet points, and, you guessed it, paragraph settings.

Step 2: Find the “Paragraph” group

In the “Home” tab, look for the “Paragraph” group.

The “Paragraph” group is usually found in the middle of the ribbon in the “Home” tab. It’s where you can adjust alignment, line spacing, and, crucially for our purposes, toggle the paragraph symbol on and off.

Step 3: Click on the paragraph symbol

Click on the paragraph symbol to turn off the paragraph marks.

The paragraph symbol is often represented by a backward ‘P’ icon. Clicking on it will instantly hide the paragraph marks. If you want to turn them back on, just click the symbol again.


Cleaner document appearanceTurning off the paragraph symbol results in a less cluttered and more professional-looking document.
Easier readingWith the formatting marks turned off, it can be easier to read and review your document’s content without distraction.
Better for sharingWhen sharing documents with others, turning off these symbols can prevent confusion and make your document more accessible.


Less control over formattingWithout the paragraph symbols, it can be more difficult to spot and adjust formatting issues.
Potential for unnoticed mistakesSpaces and breaks can go unnoticed without the symbols, possibly leading to errors in the document.
Difficulty in learning formattingFor beginners, these symbols can be educational in understanding how Word formats text, so turning them off could hinder the learning process.

Additional Information

Remember, turning off the paragraph symbol doesn’t remove the function of paragraphs, it only hides the visual representation. This can be particularly useful when you’re finalizing a document for print or presentation, and you want a clean, distraction-free look. Additionally, if you’re working with a document that has been passed around and edited by multiple people, turning off the paragraph symbol can give you a clearer view of the final product.

If you find that you miss the visual cues these symbols provide, you can always turn them back on temporarily while you’re editing or formatting. It’s all about personal preference and what works best for the task at hand.

Also, it’s worth noting that turning off the paragraph symbol in Word doesn’t affect the document’s formatting when it’s opened on another computer or word processing software. So, you can rest assured that the clean look of your document will remain consistent across different platforms.

Lastly, if you’re working on a shared document, be mindful that turning off the paragraph symbol is a view setting that only affects your display. Other users might still see the formatting marks on their screens unless they also turn off the setting.


  1. Open the “Home” tab.
  2. Find the “Paragraph” group.
  3. Click on the paragraph symbol to toggle it off.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the paragraph symbol?

The paragraph symbol, also known as a pilcrow, is a visual representation of a paragraph break in a Word document.

Will turning off the paragraph symbol affect my document’s formatting?

No, it will only hide the symbols from view; the formatting will remain unaffected.

Can I turn the paragraph symbol back on?

Yes, simply click on the paragraph symbol again in the “Paragraph” group to toggle it back on.

Does turning off the paragraph symbol affect all users viewing the document?

No, it is a personal view setting and will only affect your display of the document.

Is there a shortcut to turn off the paragraph symbol?

Yes, you can press Ctrl + Shift + 8 to quickly toggle the paragraph symbols on and off.


There you have it, a simple guide on how to turn off the paragraph symbol in Word. Whether you’re a seasoned pro or a Word newbie, mastering this small but mighty feature can make a big difference in how you view and present your documents.

Remember, while the paragraph symbols can be helpful for editing, they don’t have to be a permanent fixture in your work. So go ahead, toggle them off, and enjoy the clean, uncluttered look of your document. Happy writing!

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