Microsoft Word and Reveal Codes

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Introduction

Microsoft Word logo
Microsoft

People who are transitioning from WordPerfect to Word frequently ask how to reveal codes in Word. The reveal codes feature is unique to WordPerfect, and, unfortunately, Word doesn't have an equivalent.

However, Word does have a Reveal Formatting feature that allows you to see how selected text is formatted. Users also have the option of having Word display formatting marks in the document.

These features can prove quite helpful when you're working on your document. You'll be able to tell at a glance what formatting has been applied to selected portions of your document, and the formatting marks will make the hidden elements of your document visible.

02
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Revealing Formatting Marks

Selecting Options From the Tools Menu
Selecting Options From the Tools Menu.

Select Options from the Tools menu.

03
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Revealing Formatting Marks

The View Tab of the Options Dialog Box
The View Tab of the Options Dialog Box.

On the View tab, select the formatting marks you would like displayed under the section labeled Formatting Marks. Click OK.

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Working With Formatting Marks

Document With Formatting Marks Revealed
Document With Formatting Marks Revealed.

In the picture below, you can see how Word displays formatting marks within the document. The tab, space, and paragraph marks will help you when you're moving parts of your document and checking for consistency.

To learn how to display information about font, page, and section formatting, continue to the next step.

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Displaying Information on Document Formatting

The Reveal Formatting Task Pane
The Reveal Formatting Task Pane.

To display information about selected text, such as font, paragraph, and section options, select Reveal Formatting from the task pane menu.

If the task pane isn’t already open, use the Ctrl + F1 shortcut key to open it.

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The Reveal Formatting Task Pane

The Reveal Formatting Task Pane
The Reveal Formatting Task Pane.
When the Reveal Formatting task pane is open, you can select portions of your document to view specific information about the text formatting.
If you want to make changes to the formatting, the Reveal Formatting task pane provides links so you can change options quickly.
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The Reveal Formatting Options

The Reveal Formatting Task Pane Options
The Reveal Formatting Task Pane Options.

At the bottom of the Reveal Formatting task pane, you are given the option of turning formatting marks on or off. This is handy if you like to display formatting marks when you're editing but not when you're typing.

However, the way the option works is a bit odd. If you used the Options dialog box to display some of the formatting marks, the option will toggle between showing the ones already on the screen and all the formatting marks.

If you used the Options dialog box to display all of the formatting marks or if you don't have any formatting marks displayed, the option will toggle formatting marks on and off.

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Your Citation
Marshall, James. "Microsoft Word and Reveal Codes." ThoughtCo, May. 6, 2017, thoughtco.com/microsoft-word-and-reveal-codes-3540345. Marshall, James. (2017, May 6). Microsoft Word and Reveal Codes. Retrieved from https://www.thoughtco.com/microsoft-word-and-reveal-codes-3540345 Marshall, James. "Microsoft Word and Reveal Codes." ThoughtCo. https://www.thoughtco.com/microsoft-word-and-reveal-codes-3540345 (accessed November 24, 2017).