How to show paragraph and other formatting symbols in Pages

If you’re troubleshooting a problem with the layout in a Pages document, it can help to view the formatting symbols. And for some, they simply prefer to see these as they compose a document. These include symbols for when you hit the Return, Tab, and Space keys and use breaks for a page, column, or section.

Formatting symbols in Pages are hidden by default, hence their official name Invisibles. But you can easily display them in Pages on Mac and view them temporarily in Pages on iPhone and iPad. Here, we’ll show you how.

Show Invisibles on Mac

With your document open in Pages on Mac, click View > Show Invisibles from the menu bar. You should immediately see the formatting symbols in your current document.

Show Formatting Symbols in Pages on Mac

And you can use the same action to Hide Invisibles again.

A nice feature for the Invisibles in Pages on Mac is that you can change the color. This is helpful when you’re working on a flyer or brochure that has many colors. So, you can pick one for Invisibles that stands out.

1) Open the settings for Pages by clicking Pages > Preferences from the menu bar.

2) Select the General tab.

3) Next to Invisibles, click the button to change the color.

Color Invisibles in Pages on Mac

Show Invisibles on iPhone and iPad

As you probably know, Pages works a little differently on iPhone and iPad than on Mac. You may have certain features on macOS that you don’t have on iOS and Invisibles is no different. So while there isn’t a simple switch to show the formatting symbols, there is still a way.

When you select text in a Pages document, the formatting symbols display automatically. Tap the text twice to display the shortcut menu. You can then use Select for a single word and drag through the rest. Alternatively, you can pick Select All to see the Invisibles for the entire document.

Show Invisibles in Pages on iPhone

Like on Mac, you can see symbols for things like page breaks, Return, and anchor points.

Invisible Character List in Pages on iPhone

Wrapping it up

Hopefully this tip will help you the next time you’re struggling with the formatting in your Pages document. By showing the formatting symbols, you can find those invisibles that may be causing you trouble.

What tips do you have like this for working in Pages on either Mac or iOS? Share your suggestions below or with us on Twitter!