Those little square dots that appear in Word documents are actually spaces. The "Show/Hide" feature in Word allows the user to see paragraphs, spaces and other hidden formatting symbols. The "Show/Hide" feature also aids the user in determining how a document was formatted by the creator of a document. Correct formatting in a document is particularly important when changes need to be made. Changes can make the document look entirely wrong if incorrect formatting was used during its creation.
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Open Microsoft Word 2007.
Open the document that contains the little square dots.
Click on the "Home" tab.
Click the "Show/Hide" symbol located in the "Paragraph" section. The "Show/Hide" symbol looks like a paragraph symbol. If you cannot find it, place your mouse pointer over the symbols and a pop-up window will appear stating what the symbol is.
The little square dots will disappear when you click on the "Show/Hide" symbol. The dots are not actually removed but rather enter a "hide" mode. Word still sees them as part of the format, but the user no longer sees them.
Tips and warnings
- A quick shortcut to perform the same action is to simultaneously press the "Shift+Ctrl+8" keys. This shortcut will work in both Word 2007 and Word 2003.
- If several documents are showing the dots, you will have to open each independently and perform the required steps.
- If you decide that you want to be able to view some formatting symbols and not others, then do the following: Click the "Office Button." Click the "Word Options" button. Select the "Display" tab. Select the formatting you would like to see by checking the appropriate checkboxes in the "Always Show These Formatting Marks on the Screen" section.
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