There are a lot of extra characters running around on your Word 2013 document that you can’t normally see. Every time you press a key – whether it’s the space bar, tab or enter – Word records it in your document. Add in to that mix the special section, page and column breaks, as well as fields for your Index and References, and you’ve got a stew that can really mess up your layouts.
The first step when working on the layout of a document is to look for those hidden features that affect the document so strongly.
What Is It?
The Show/Hide button is the key to seeing these heretofore invisible items, and it’s a toggle button. That means it is like a light switch, either on or off. Many people may already have experience with the Show/Hide button because they either:
- Accidentally turned it on, or
- Inherited a document with Show/Hide already turned on.
Where Is it?
The Show/Hide button looks like a paragraph return, and is in the Paragraph group on the Home tab. Turning it on and off is a simple as clicking on it. For you power users, the keyboard shortcut for Show/Hide is Ctrl + Shift + 8.
You’ll notice power users flicking it on and off as they massage a document into the shape they desire. If you look closely at the figure above, you can see paragraph returns, but also tabs and a page break. Text that has a style rule applied to it has a small dot in the margin beside it.
Add the keyboard shortcut for Show/Hide to your repertoire and you’ll be much faster on the draw when it comes to laying out complex Microsoft Word documents.