Word.Tips.Net WordTips (Menu Interface)

Seeing Small Rectangles when Inserting Symbols

Normally, when you choose Symbol from the Insert menu, Word shows you a dialog box that contains the different symbols available in a variety of fonts on your system. You can then choose from the symbols and insert them in your document.

If you display the Symbol dialog box and see nothing but small rectangles instead of the expected symbols, then there may be a problem with your system. Most likely this is the result of your video driver and Word not working together as they should. You can check if this is the problem by getting out of Word and switching to the Standard VGA or Super VGA driver. (Not the specialized driver designed for your video card, but the generic ones provided by Microsoft.) If the problem goes away, you know it is related to your video driver. You should then contact your video card manufacturer to make sure you have the most up-to-date video driver available.

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (1361) applies to Microsoft Word 97, 2000, 2002, and 2003.

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Comments for this tip:

Dave C    18 Nov 2016, 07:47

I use MS Word on an iMac and recently I started seeing a small rectangle in every word document I open (even blank new documents). I have used Word on a PC for more than 10 years and for about 2 years on a Mac and I have never seen this before.

I am unable to click on the rectangle or select it in any way. It just floats over the text and cannot be moved or deleted.

Can you help?


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