How to Remove Paragraph Symbols in Outlook

Clean up your Outlook email before sending it

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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.

Fortunately, turning the paragraph symbol of and on is fairly straightforward and takes less than a minute to do no matter what version of Outlook you’re using.

Instructions in this article apply to Outlook 2019, Outlook 2016, Outlook 2013, Outlook 2010, and Outlook for Office 365.

How to Get Rid of the Paragraph Symbol in Outlook

The paragraph symbol, and other formatting marks, are basic visual aids that are designed to show you where special formatting has taken place. The paragraph symbol resembles a backwards capital P and appears when someone has pressed the Enter key when typing an email in Outlook.

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

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.

  1. Open Outlook on your computer.

  2. Select New Email in the top-left corner of the screen to begin composing a new email.

    Outlook email app in Windows 10.

    Don’t worry. You won’t have to actually send this email to anyone.

  3. Type something in the body of the new email. You can type anything you want, but you need to type something so the settings we need become available.

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

    Paragraph symbols in an email in Outlook on Windows 10 with Format Text menu showing.
  5. From the Paragraph section, select the paragraph symbol, which looks like a backwards P.

    Paragraph symbols in an email in Outlook on Windows 10.
  6. All formatting marks, including the paragraph symbol, will now be hidden. If you ever want to enable formatting marks, simply 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 own version of Outlook. You don’t need to hide them before sending an email.

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.