I see dots and arrows in my document

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Symptoms

In your document, you see dots where there should be spaces, arrows where there should be tabs, and other characters that you don't expect.

Show/Hide formatting reveals dots and arrows

Cause

These symbols are visible on-screen when the formatting marks are turned on in Word. 

(When a document is printed, these symbols don't appear on paper. They are merely on-screen aides to help you see the underlying formatting of the document.)

Resolution

Hide the formatting marks:

  • On the Home tab, in the Paragraph group, click the Show/Hide button, which looks like a paragraph mark:

    The show/hide button

See Also 

Show or hide formatting marks

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