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: Horizontally Viewing All Your Text.

Horizontally Viewing All Your Text

Written by Allen Wyatt (last updated May 11, 2024)
This tip applies to Word 97, 2000, 2002, and 2003


Normally, Word displays text on the screen as it will appear on a hard-copy printout. This feature is often referred to as WYSIWYG (pronounced whizzy-wig), which means "what you see is what you get." There may be times, however, when viewing documents this way can be bothersome. For instance, if you are working on a very wide document, or if you are using a computer set to a low video resolution. In these instances, the only way to see all your text horizontally is to scroll left and right—which can get to be very tedious.

If you get tired of scrolling left and right, you can try the following:

  1. Make sure you are not viewing your document in Print Layout view. For instance, choose Normal view.
  2. Choose Options from Tools menu. Word displays the Options dialog box.
  3. Make sure the View tab is displayed. (See Figure 1.)
  4. Figure 1. The View tab of the Options dialog box.

  5. Make sure the Wrap to Window check box, at the bottom of the dialog box, is cleared.
  6. Click on OK.

This check box essentially turns off most of the WYSIWYG features of Word. Instead, none of your document lines will extend beyond the right-most edge of your screen. When you later want to see what your document will look like on a printout, simply repeat the above steps to set the check box.

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (49) 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: Horizontally Viewing All Your Text.

Author Bio

Allen Wyatt

With more than 50 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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