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: Shortcut for Show/Hide.

Shortcut for Show/Hide

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated April 21, 2018)

2

Word has a number of non-printing characters that it commonly uses in a document. These characters include spaces, tabs, paragraph marks, and a few other such characters. When you are editing and formatting documents, it is often useful to view these characters, as they can affect the appearance of your document.

The normal way to display the non-printing characters is to click on the Show/Hide tool (it looks like it has a backwards P on it). If you are loathe to remove your hands from the keyboard in order to use the mouse, you might want to memorize a quick little shortcut: Ctrl+* (that's the asterisk), which can also be written as Shift+Ctrl+8. This shortcut key toggles the Show/Hide tool on and off.

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (3456) 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: Shortcut for Show/Hide.

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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What is one more than 6?

2019-03-17 15:03:49

Melanie Zeuske

I am so grateful for this information. I turned on the show changes mistakenly as I was typing and I had no idea how I did it. Changing the markup choice in the toolbar did nothing. This saved me from continuing my long project being annoyed the entire time. Thanks


2018-10-03 16:41:18

tommy wong

I am a long-term hot-key user and for the "show/hide paragraph mark" i am used to CTRL+SHIFT+8 (for the *).

However, on my MS Word 2010, this hot-key does not work anymore (and has not for a long time). Sorry I am not sure of any symptoms or feedback as to what has changed and is forced to use my mouse now. Other hot-keys work and even the legacy ALT + MENU still function, (perhaps its due to some keyboard and shift asterik not registering?)


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