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Google Docs adds a feature we thought it already had: non-printing characters

Screenshot of a Google Docs page with non-printing characters shown.
If you’ve ever needed to see exactly where your line breaks and spaces are, I have great news. | Image: Google

Google is adding a feature to Google Docs that lets you see non-printing characters such as spaces, tabs, and various types of breaks, the company announced in a blog post on Monday. The option, which will be available in the View menu, can help make editing a document easier by showing you exactly how its formatted rather than making you rely purely on what you can see to tell whether something is a tab or a bunch of spaces. It can also be more helpful when troubleshooting messed up formatting.

Before now, people have had to rely on third-party add-ons for Google Docs to see the non-printing characters. While it’s not a feature that many people will have much use for (more on that in a second), there was definitely demand for it. A…

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