How to Remove Paragraph Symbols in Outlook: Easy Guide

how to remove paragraph symbols in outlook

When composing or receiving emails in Microsoft Outlook, you might notice paragraph symbols (¶) appearing within your text. These symbols, also known as pilcrows, indicate the end of a paragraph and are useful for identifying formatting issues. However, they can be distracting and make your emails look cluttered. Removing these symbols can help you maintain a clean and professional appearance in your email communications.

Paragraph symbols appear by default in many versions of Outlook, especially when specific formatting options are enabled. While these symbols can be beneficial for editing and formatting, they can be an eyesore for those who prefer a clean email interface. This article will guide you through various methods on how to remove paragraph symbols in outlook, ensuring your emails look tidy and professional.

How To Remove Paragraph Symbols In Outlook

Using the Format Text Tab

One of the simplest ways on how to remove paragraph symbols in outlook is by using the Format Text tab. Here’s how you can do it:

  1. Open Outlook and start composing a new email or open an existing one.
  2. Navigate to the “Format Text” tab on the top toolbar.
  3. In the “Paragraph” section, locate the paragraph symbol (¶) and click it.

Clicking the paragraph symbol toggles the visibility of these formatting marks. This method is quick and efficient, especially when you need to clean up your email’s appearance before sending it. The paragraph symbol button acts as a toggle switch, turning the visibility of all formatting marks on and off.

how to remove paragraph symbols in outlook

Keyboard Shortcut Method

For those who prefer using keyboard shortcuts, you can easily toggle paragraph symbols with a few key presses:

  1. Press Ctrl + Shift + * (asterisk on the 8 key) on your keyboard.

This shortcut works across different versions of Outlook, including Outlook for Microsoft 365, Outlook 2019, and Outlook 2016. It provides a fast way to hide or show paragraph symbols without navigating through the menus. Using this shortcut can save time and help maintain focus while composing emails.

Adjusting Settings in Outlook Options

To ensure that paragraph symbols and other formatting marks do not appear in your emails, you can adjust the settings in Outlook Options:

  1. Open Outlook and go to the File tab.
  2. Select Options from the drop-down menu.
  3. In the Outlook Options window, click on Mail.
  4. Under Compose messages, click on Editor Options.
  5. Navigate to the Display tab.
  6. Uncheck the box for Paragraph marks under the “Always show these formatting marks on the screen” section.
  7. Click OK to save the changes.

Adjusting Settings in Outlook Options

These settings will apply to all new emails you compose, as well as any replies or forwards, ensuring a consistent appearance without unnecessary formatting symbols. Adjusting these settings is particularly useful for users who prefer a clean interface without distractions.

Common Issues and Solutions

Paragraph Symbols Reappearing

Sometimes, paragraph symbols might reappear even after turning them off. This can happen if the settings are reset or if there is an update to Outlook. To fix this, revisit the steps outlined in the “Adjusting Settings in Outlook Options” section and ensure the settings are correctly applied. Regularly checking these settings can help maintain a clean email interface.

Symbols in Reply Emails

If paragraph symbols appear only in reply emails, it might be due to specific formatting settings for replies. Double-check the settings in the Editor Options to ensure that formatting marks are turned off for replies and forwards. Ensuring consistent settings for all types of email messages can prevent unwanted symbols.

Formatting Marks Not Turning Off

If formatting marks do not turn off using the Format Text tab or keyboard shortcuts, it might be an issue with the Outlook installation. Restarting Outlook or updating it to the latest version can resolve this issue. If the problem persists, consider reaching out to Microsoft Support for further assistance. Technical support can provide solutions for persistent issues.


Q1. What are paragraph symbols and why do they appear? 

Paragraph symbols (¶) are formatting marks that indicate the end of a paragraph. They help in identifying the structure and layout of the text, especially when editing or troubleshooting formatting issues.

Q2. How can I ensure paragraph symbols do not reappear? 

To prevent paragraph symbols from reappearing, adjust the settings in Outlook Options as described in the “Adjusting Settings in Outlook Options” section. Make sure to save the changes to apply them consistently.

Q3. Can I customize which formatting marks are shown? 

Yes, you can customize which formatting marks are displayed by going to File > Options > Mail > Editor Options > Display. From there, you can select or deselect the formatting marks you want to see.

Wrapping Up

So here in this article, we have checked how to remove paragraph symbols in outlook. Removing paragraph symbols in Outlook is a straightforward process that enhances the clarity and professionalism of your emails. By using the Format Text tab, keyboard shortcuts, or adjusting Outlook settings, you can easily manage the appearance of your email messages. Maintaining a clean email format not only improves readability but also ensures your communications look polished and professional.

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