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With more than 35 non-fiction books and numerous magazine articles to his credit, Allen Wyatt is an internationally recognized author. He is president of Sharon Parq Associates, a computer and publishing services company.
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Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Word versions: 97, 2000, 2002, and 2003. If you are using a later version (Word 2007 or later), this tip may not work for you. For a version of this tip written specifically for later versions of Word, click here: Removing Blank Pages at the End of Your Document.
When you print out your document, you may notice that a blank page or two prints out at the end of the document. If this is the case with your document, chances are good that you have a bunch of empty paragraphs at the end of your document. Even though you can't see them on the screen (normally), they are there and take up extra space.
To delete the empty paragraphs, simply press Ctrl+End to go to the end of your document. Then press the Backspace key until you have deleted all the non-printing characters (such as empty paragraphs). You can tell when you are done by the position of the insertion point. If it is located next to the last character you want printed in your document, you are done deleting.
If you want to see the empty paragraphs that are at the end of your document—before you delete them—you can instruct Word to display non-printing characters. Just click the Show/Hide tool on the Standard toolbar; it looks like a backwards P. When the tool is selected, you will see all the spaces, paragraphs, tabs, and other characters in your document—all the characters that normally don't show up on your screen. This can be very helpful for figuring out why something doesn't look quite right in your document.
WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (835) applies to Microsoft Word 97, 2000, 2002, and 2003. You can find a version of this tip for the ribbon interface of Word (Word 2007 and later) here: Removing Blank Pages at the End of Your Document.
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