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Article ID: 901125 - Last Review: December 29, 2006 - Revision: 6.6

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SYMPTOMS

When you work in a Microsoft Word document, unusual marks may appear in the document.

CAUSE

This issue may occur if you turn on the option to show formatting marks in the document.

The formatting marks that you may see in a Word document are listed in the following table.
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Formatting markHow the mark appears in a document
Tab characterA tab character appears as an arrow (→).
SpaceA space appears as a dot between words (·).
Nonbreaking spaceA nonbreaking space appears as a raised circle between words (◦).

A nonbreaking space is a space that is used to prevent multiple words from breaking if they appear at the end of a line of text. For example, you can prevent the words "Microsoft Office" from breaking onto two separate lines. When you use a nonbreaking space between the words, both words are moved to the start of the next line. To insert a nonbreaking space, press CTRL+SHIFT+SPACEBAR.
Text-wrapping breakA text-wrapping break appears as an arrow that has a curved tail and that is enclosed in vertical bars.
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 curved arrow with vertical lines


A text-wrapping break indicates that there is text that wraps underneath an object, such as a picture.
Page breakA page break appears as a dotted line in normal view.
Section breakA section break appears as two dotted lines when the document contains different types of section-level formatting.
Field code braceIf field codes are displayed, a field code brace appears as curly braces ({ }).

For example, a field code brace may be displayed as {DOCPROPERTY "Manager" \* Upper}, a hyperlink may appear as {HYPERLINK "mailto:abc@mailaccount.com"} instead of abc@mailaccount.com, or a table of contents may appear as {TOC\o"1-3"\h\z\u} instead of the actual table of contents.
Paragraph markA paragraph mark looks similar to a backward letter "P" (¶).

A paragraph mark appears at the end of a paragraph and contains paragraph formatting information.
Manual line breakA manual line break appears as a down arrow.

A manual line break appears at the end of a line when you press SHIFT+ENTER.
Hidden TextIf formatting marks are turned on, text that is formatted as hidden is indicated by dotted lines under the text.
End of cell markerHolds formatting for the cell.
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 end of cell marker for table
Optional hyphenA hyphen that is used to control where a word or phrase breaks if it falls at the end of a line.
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 optional hyphen
Nonbreaking hyphenA hyphen that is used to prevent a hyphenated word, number, or phrase from breaking if it falls at the end of the line.
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 nonbreaking hyphen

RESOLUTION

To resolve this issue, turn off the option to show formatting marks. To do this, use one of the following methods:
  • On the Standard toolbar, click the Show/Hide button.
  • On the Tools menu, click Options, and then click the View tab. Under Formatting marks, click to clear the check boxes for the marks that you do not want to appear in the document.
  • Press CTRL+SHIFT+*.

MORE INFORMATION

Word 2003, Word 2002, Word 2000, and Word 97

Besides the marks that are listed in the "Cause" section, the following marks may also appear in a document in any version of Word that is listed in the "Applies to" section.

Red or green wavy underlines in the body text and in the headers and footers

Word includes a feature that lets you automatically check the spelling and the grammar in a document. When this feature is turned on, Word uses wavy red underlines to indicate possible spelling errors. Additionally, Word uses wavy green underlines to indicate possible grammatical errors.

To turn off this feature, follow these steps:
  1. On the Tools menu, click Options.
  2. On the Spelling & Grammar tab, click to clear the Check spelling as you type check box and the Check grammar as you type check box.

Red wavy underlines in the header of an e-mail message

Word automatically checks the names in the header of an e-mail message against the names in the Address Book. If Word finds multiple names that match the name that you type, a red wavy line appears under the name. The red wavy underline indicates that you must choose one name from the matching names. To select the name that you want, right-click the underlined name, and then click the correct name.

Purple underlines in the body text

By default, followed hyperlinks appear as purple, underlined text.

Red underlines in the body text and vertical bars in the margin

By default, newly inserted text is marked by a single red underline or a double red underline when you use the Track Changes feature. Vertical bars, called changed lines, may also appear in the left margin or right margin of the text that contains the tracked changes.

Word 2003 and Word 2002

Additionally, the following marks may also appear in a Microsoft Office Word 2003 document or in a Microsoft Word 2002 document.

Blue underlines in the body text

Word includes a feature that lets you automatically check the consistency of your formatting. When this feature is turned on, Word uses wavy blue underlines to indicate possible instances of inconsistent formatting. To turn off this feature, follow these steps:
  1. On the Tools menu, click Options.
  2. On the Edit tab, click to clear the Mark formatting inconsistencies check box.

Purple dotted underlines in the body text and in the headers and footers

A smart tag is indicated by a purple dotted underline. You can use smart tags to perform actions in Word that you would ordinarily start another program to do.

Word 2003

Additionally, the following marks may also appear in a Word 2003 document.

Purple wavy underlines in the body text and wavy vertical lines in the margin

In an XML document, Word uses purple wavy underlines and wavy vertical lines to indicate XML structure that does not follow the XML schema that is attached to the document.

Note XML features are available only in Microsoft Office Professional Edition 2003 and in stand-alone versions of Word 2003. However, you can use the Save As command to save a document as XML in any version of Word 2003.

REFERENCES

For more information about the formatting marks and the other marks that may appear in a Word document, visit the following Microsoft Web site:
http://office.microsoft.com/en-us/assistance/HP030894821033.aspx (http://office.microsoft.com/en-us/assistance/HP030894821033.aspx)
For more information about the formatting marks and the other marks that may appear in a Word document, click Microsoft Word Help on the Help menu, type formatting marks in the Search for box in the Assistance pane, and then click Start searching to view the topic.

APPLIES TO
  • Microsoft Office Word 2003
  • Microsoft Word 2002 Standard Edition
  • Microsoft Word 2000 Standard Edition
  • Microsoft Word 97 Standard Edition
Keywords: 
kbui kbformat kbtshoot kbprb KB901125
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