How to Remove Paragraph Symbols in Outlook

Clean up your Outlook email before sending it

What to Know

  • Open Outlook on your computer. Select New Email. Type the placeholder text in the email body.
  • In the top menu, choose Format Text. In the Paragraph section, select the paragraph symbol to turn off all formatting marks.
  • Reverse the process to turn formatting back on or toggle formatting off and on with Ctrl+Shift+*.

This article explains how to remove paragraph symbols in Outlook. This information applies to Outlook 2019, Outlook 2016, Outlook 2013, Outlook 2010, and Outlook for Microsoft 365.

How to Remove the Paragraph Symbol in Outlook

Formatting marks like the paragraph symbol can be useful when checking an email layout for mistakes or design errors, but they can also be annoying when all you want to do is write an Outlook email and send it.

Hiding formatting marks doesn't undo the formatting, but it makes them invisible so you can focus on the text without being distracted by the various symbols.

  1. Open Outlook on your computer.

  2. Select New Email in the upper-left corner of the screen to begin composing a message.

    The New Email button in Outlook
  3. Type placeholder text into the body of the new email.

    Paragraph symbols in an email in Outlook on Windows 10.
  4. Select Format Text from the top menu.

    The Format Text heading in Outlook
  5. From the Paragraph section, select the paragraph symbol, which looks like a backwards P.

    The Show Formatting button
  6. All formatting marks, including the paragraph symbol, will now be invisible. If you ever want to enable formatting marks, repeat these steps and select the paragraph symbol again.

    Formatting marks are only used for your reference. They'll only be visible to the recipients of your Outlook emails if they have the option enabled in their version of Outlook. You don’t need to hide them before sending an email.

    Paragraph symbols in an email in Outlook on Windows 10.

Turning off the paragraph symbol will hide it in all future emails. Subsequentially, activating it again will make it visible in any emails you compose in Outlook later.

Remove Paragraph Marks in Outlook With a Keyboard Shortcut

If you prefer to use keyboard shortcuts for completing tasks in Windows 10, or you simply want a way to turn off formatting marks in Outlook on the fly without navigating menus, you can also remove or add the paragraph mark and other formatting symbols by pressing Ctrl+Shift+* at the same time.

The asterisk must be the one on the number row on the keyboard. On most English language keyboards, the asterisk will be on the 8 key. If it isn't, press the number key it's on instead.

Are There Paragraph Symbols in the Windows 10 Mail and Outlook Mobile Apps?

While the Windows 10 Mail app is created by Microsoft and can connect to Outlook accounts for reading and writing emails, it isn't technically an Outlook app. Due to this, the Mail app on Windows 10 lacks several advanced features, including the ability to view formatting marks.

The official Office apps for iOS and Android, as their names suggest, are Outlook apps but they also lack the option to show formatting marks.

  • How do I get rid of paragraph symbols in Outlook for Mac?

    You can remove formatting symbols by opening a new message and selecting the Format Text tab, followed by the paragraph symbol. If the problem is occurring in the new version of Outlook and changing the text formatting isn't working, try switching to the old version of Outlook, changing formatting there, then switching back to the newer version.

  • Why won't Outlook let me format text in my reply?

    It's possible that the person who sent the original email was using something that can't normally be formatted, such as Plain Text. Since Outlook maintains the formatting of the original email throughout the entire response chain, that means your reply would also have to be in Plain Text and wouldn't allow for additional formatting.

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