Clever Clogs tip # 733
1 October 2023

Always show formatting marks when typing email messages (Microsoft Outlook) *

Hello and welcome to the October tip! I hope you had a brilliant September and made the most of the Indian summer.

Don't know about you, but judging from the emails in my inbox Christmas is coming ...

Talking about emails ... Are you one of those people who love to have their formatting marks on permanently?

I personally don't, but I know from experience lots of you do. So just be aware you can easily switch it on - permanently. And you can even be specific about what formatting marks you would like to see.

Here's how:

  1. Create a new email, as normal. (CTRL + N anyone?)
  2. On the File tab, click Options.
  3. Type the letter M (or click Mail).
  4. Press TAB to select the Editor Options button and press ENTER. Or click on the button if you prefer to use your mouse.
  5. Select the formatting marks of your choice.
  6. Press ENTER or click OK.

Be aware that if you change this setting, you cannot use the Show/Hide button on the Format Text tab. So if you're like me and only want to show formatting marks occasionally, don't change the setting but use the button or its keyboard shortcut CTRL + SHIFT + 8.

Related tips

  1. Quickly show (or hide) paragraph marks and other hidden formatting symbols - tip_394.php
  2. Six productive things to do with CTRL + N(ew) - tip_635.php

Last month's CleverClogsTipTime on LinkedIn

  1. Got my first 5-start Google review from a septuagenarian technophobe!
  2. Escape isn't just a button on my keyboard!
  3. Outlook's missing button (Turns out the button isn't missing, but on a tab I never use, i.e. Format Text. Anyone else who had expected to find it on the Message tab along with all the other formatting buttons? With thanks for Dawn Bjork for pointing this out to me!)
  4. Access Apps and Add-ins from Outlook
  5. Open to Work
  6. T for Time
  7. How many people will come to the meeting?

That's it. Please, let me know of anything that you would like to see or learn by hitting Reply (or pressing CTRL + R). I respond to ALL emails. I promise!


PS As we're going into the last quarter of the year you might find there's some training budget left. If so, hope you might consider my services. From bite-size webinars to onsite training to conference talks, I'd love to help!

* Unless stated otherwise this tip is written for Microsoft 365 desktop apps and Windows 10 users, but might also be useful in Office 2010, 2013, 2016 and 2019.