Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Word versions: , , , , and . 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: Displaying Spaces in a Document.

Displaying Spaces in a Document

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated December 28, 2015)

Have you ever worked on a document that included multiple fonts and the printout didn?t quite match what you wanted? Sometimes there was more space between words or sentences than what seemed right, and you didn?t quite know what the problem was?

I have found that the culprit is often my own fault. I may have placed extra spaces between words or sentences in such a manner that the text looks fine on screen, but doesn?t quite fit the bill when finally printed. The solution, of course, is to remove the extra spaces and make sure there are a consistent number of them between both words and sentences. The problem with the solution is that it is often difficult to see how many spaces there really are.

Fortunately, Word allows you to easily see where spaces occur in your documents. All you need to do is follow these steps:

  1. Choose Options from the Tools menu. Word displays the Options dialog box.
  2. Make sure the View tab is selected. (See Figure 1.)
  3. Figure 1. The View tab of the Options dialog box.

  4. Make sure the Spaces check box is selected.
  5. Click on OK.

Now, all your spaces appear as small visible dots. It is very easy to tell where two visible dots appear, as opposed to two invisible spaces. Delete your extra spaces as you would delete any other characters, and you will have your document cleaned up in no time.

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (1425) applies to Microsoft Word , , , , and . You can find a version of this tip for the ribbon interface of Word (Word 2007 and later) here: Displaying Spaces in a Document.

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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