Turn formatting marks on or off

When composing an email message, you might see some symbols within your text. These are actually formatting marks, such as dots (for spaces) or arrows (for tab characters) in Outlook. Formatting marks assist with text layout. They do not appear on a printed message.

These are the formatting characters available in email messages.

When you turn formatting marks on or off, your choice remains in effect for all subsequent messages you compose, reply to, or forward.

Quickly toggle formatting marks

To turn formatting marks on or off, do the following:

  • In the message window, on the Format Text tab, in the Paragraph group, click the button that looks like a paragraph mark. (When you point your mouse at the button, the tooltip says Show/Hide ¶).

    The button for the 'Show/Hide Formatting Marks' command looks like a paragraph mark.

    Keyboard shortcut     CTRL+SHIFT+*. (You must use the asterisk on the 8 key.)

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