Did You Know…

Did You Know…

…that a paragraph in MS Word doesn’t necessarily mean complete sentences and all that other stuff the English teacher taught you?

Well, to Word it doesn’t.

You can be sure that English teachers will disagree, but here’s the scoop.

Word considers a paragraph to be the text between two paragraph marks.

Okay, so I can already hear you asking …paragraph marks?

Yep. They look like this.

You’ve never seen that in your Word documents, have you?

No, I’m sure you haven’t, but let me assure you, they’re in your document. They’re just one of the many hidden marks Word puts in to indicate spaces, enters, tabs, etc. You may not see them, but believe me they exist.

(It is possible to have Word display these marks by clicking the button on the Standard toolbar that contains the paragraph symbol. It’s a toggle button so click it once to display the hidden marks and again to re-hide them).

Basically, Word inserts a paragraph mark anytime you hit the Enter key.

For example, if you’re making a list of items, each item becomes its own paragraph every time you hit Enter.

Why do you care?

Let me tell you, there are a lot of instructions and references to a paragraph in Word. As I’ve worked with people, I’ve noticed one thing—they usually see a paragraph only in the traditional format. Because of this, single word lists just don’t register in their thinking process.

The result?

Put simply, they’re often confused with instructions. It’s hard to follow instructions when you don’t know the definitions (at least Word’s definitions) of the terms.

So, now that we’re clear on what Word means, keep an eye out for tomorrow’s cool trick for your paragraphs.

~ April

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