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I'm editing in MS Word 2010, and with Paragraph marks on, I see little superscript circles in front of some words and paragraph marks. I don't see a pattern, and they don't seem to be doing any harm. Just curious.

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1 Answer 1

A degree symbol ° represents a nonbreaking space (Ctrl+Shift+Spacebar), which you can use to prevent words from being separated at the end of a line.

This is useful for keeping dates together (so you don't end up with September
5, 2000), as well as initials such as J. P.
V. D. Balsdon.

En and em spaces (on the Special Characters tab of the Symbol dialog) are also represented by the degree symbol, but there is extra space to the left of the symbol for an en space ° and extra space both left and right for an em ° space.

Article contributed by Suzanne S. Barnhill and Dave Rado.

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So good to know. Thank you! –  Curious Apr 23 '13 at 22:16
+1 for adding the proper attribution. I also edited the quote slightly since without line breaks in the date and name the examples made no sense. –  Karan Apr 24 '13 at 17:06
@Karan Yepp, wanted to do that as well, didn't sound right. Much better this way. –  M.Bennett Apr 25 '13 at 8:21

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