In my outlook email I now have what looks like a letter “p” and back
arrows, at the end of each line! How do I remove them?
What you’re seeing are probably paragraph marks.
The fact that you’re seeing them is benign, and easy to turn off. But it
also tells me a little bit about your configuration.
While it’s really a matter of personal preference, I see it as a sign of a
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First, you’re probably seeing something very similar to this:
The font may be different, so the appearance might not be identical, but at
the end of each line is a paragraph mark.
Question 1, of course, is if it’s a “paragraph” mark, why is it at the end
of every line? This is one of the differences between plain text and
“rich” text email. In rich text, each paragraph is represented as a single line
– it’s then broken into multiple lines as it’s displayed to fit the window. Try
it sometime in your word processor – resize the window and you’ll see each
paragraph “re-wrap” to fit the screen.
In plain text, each line is represented by … a line.
Regardless, at the end of the line, whether it represents an entire
paragraph, or just a single line, is an end of line marker.
Or, in word processing terms, an paragraph mark.
So why do I keep coming back to “word processing” when all you’re doing is
Because you’re using Microsoft Word as your email editor. And Microsoft Word
is first and foremost a word processor.
email editor in Outlook.”
In Word you can turn off the display of paragraph marks several different
ways. In Tools, Options, on the
View tab, you’ll see the Paragraph marks
Simply uncheck that.
If that setting is unchecked already, you may be viewing all non-printable
characters. If you see a dot everywhere there’s a space, such as between words,
this is likely to be the problem. SHIFT+CTRL+* will turn that on and off,
including paragraph marks.
Now, you’ll note that I said I see this as a sign of a larger problem … so
what’s the larger problem?
Using Microsoft Word to edit email.
Word is a fine, fine word processor. I use it regularly. But in my opinion,
it’s overkill for editing email. Word is a big program packed with
lots of features that aren’t (or shouldn’t be) used in email. If you’re close
to marginal on memory, Word can be particularly slow. The rich text it produces
is notoriously bloated, meaning that the resulting email is much larger than it
needs to be to convey the same look and feel to your recipients.
I strongly recommend not using Microsoft Word as your
email editor in Outlook.
To turn it off, and use Outlook’s internal, “leaner and meaner” editor, in
Outlook hit Tools, Options, and in the
resulting dialog click on the Mail Format dialog. Then uncheck
both “Use Microsoft Office Word 2003 to edit e-mail messages” and “Use
Microsoft Office Word 2003 to read Rich Text e-mail messages” (you may see a
different version of Word listed depending on what you have installed):
Once you do that email editing and viewing should be a little quicker for
you, and your emails will also be smaller in size.
And you won’t see any unexpected paragraph marks.