Microsoft Office

How do I remove dots between words in Microsoft Word?

dots between words
Going dotty: you've turned the non-print characters on

Is your Word document looking a bit weird? Where once there was beautiful white nothingness, there’s now dots between words. And there’s some weird symbol at the end of every paragraph, too. What has happened? And how do you make it all go away?

Relax. This is one of the easiest tech fixes possible. In fact, you can make this problem go away with a single click of the mouse.

Make sure you’ve got the Home tab selected in Microsoft Word and then look for a symbol like the one you’re seeing at the end of every paragraph in the Paragraph section of the toolbar. We’ve circled it in the toolbar below if you’re still struggling to find it:

Click on that and it should turn off all the non-print symbols that have appeared in your document.

Why would you ever want to turn that feature on? It’s handy if you’ve got some odd hard returns in your document, normally as a result of pasting in copy from elsewhere. Turn that feature on and you can easily see where all the hard returns are, letting you remove any that shouldn’t be there.

By the way, do you ever have to edit Word documents from someone who learned to type during the days of typewriters and still insists on putting two spaces after every full-stop? You can easily remove these by pressing Ctrl+F to open the find function and then typing a double space in the search box. Now press the tiny little down arrow at the end of the search box, choose Replace and type a single space in the Replace With box. Hit Replace All and the unnecessary double spacing will be removed.

NOW READ THIS: How do I insert a background image in Word?

About the author

Barry Collins

Barry has scribbled about tech for almost 20 years for The Sunday Times, PC Pro, WebUser, Which? and many others. He was once Deputy Editor of Mail Online and remains in therapy to this day. Email Barry at


Click here to post a comment

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.