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Get to know Word 2007 I: Create your first document

Paragraph, tab, and space marks in Word document

Document with formatting marks.
Callout 1 Extra paragraph mark: ENTER was pressed twice.
Callout 2 Extra tab mark: TAB was pressed twice, making the second paragraph indented more than the first.
Callout 3 Extra space between words: the SPACEBAR was pressed twice instead of once.

Imagine that you have typed a few paragraphs. The paragraphs seem very far apart, and the second paragraph starts farther to the right than the first paragraph.

You can see what's going on by looking at the formatting marks Word automatically inserts as you type. These marks are always in documents, but they are invisible until you display them.

To see formatting marks, use the Ribbon, at the top of the window. On the Home tab, in the Paragraph group, click the Show/Hide button Button image. Click the button again to hide formatting marks.

These marks are not just for show. You can get rid of extra spacing by deleting extra marks.

The first time you see these marks, you might wonder, "What's that?" And you might worry that formatting marks will be printed. These marks do not print — they won't be on printed pages, even when you see them on the screen.

So what are formatting marks, and what do they mean? Here are a few examples:

Word inserts a paragraph mark Paragraph mark each time you press ENTER to start a new paragraph. In the picture, there's an extra paragraph mark between the two paragraphs, which means that ENTER was pressed twice. This creates extra space. Deleting the extra paragraph mark will get rid of the extra space between the paragraphs.

One arrow Arrow image appears each time TAB is pressed. In the picture there is one arrow in the first paragraph and two arrows in the second paragraph, so TAB was pressed twice in the second paragraph.

Dots Dot show how many times you press the SPACEBAR between each word, or if you accidentally press the SPACEBAR between letters in a word. One dot is one space; two dots are two spaces. Normally there should be one space between each word. Dots, by the way, are different from periods at the ends of sentences. Periods (which you always see) are on the bottom of the line. Dots are higher up, toward the middle of the line.

In the practice you'll see how to get rid of extra space by deleting extra formatting marks.

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