Hide and unhide whitespace, headers and footers in Microsoft Word

For now at least, I edit a lot of security documents as part of my job. Today, I saw something I hadn’t seen before: Word 2010 was hiding all of the headers, footers, and whitespace in the document. That made navigating the document a whole lot faster and easier, but it also meant I couldn’t verify that the headers and footers were correct. I figured out how to hide and unhide whitespace, headers and footers in Microsoft Word.

The solution was simple but non-obvious, and works in all versions of Word that I know of.

The solution is to hover the mouse over the gap between the pages, and then double-click. Duh.

Helpfully, Word 2003 actually gives you a tooltip when you hover between the pages. I happened to still have Word 2003 on a machine at home, and that clued me in. Sometimes being slow to upgrade has advantages. Sometimes it has disadvantages too. But in this case, Word 2010 gives you no such feedback.

I’ve been using Word for about 18 years and somehow I’ve never seen this feature. I’m glad I have now, though–hiding the whitespace makes document navigation faster. It also seems to make Word 2010 behave better.

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