What is the explanation (meaning) for the Carriage Return symbol shape in Microsoft Office Word? Microsoft Office Word

2 Answers 2


The symbols have different meanings:

  • ↲ - is used to indicate a line break where the paragraph does not end. This can be useful for formatting and presentation, especially as the formatting between paragraphs can be different. (not quite the same symbol as Word uses, apologies)
  • ¶ - called a Pilcrow, and originates from the middle ages. It indicates the end of a paragraph. As you can see from my screenshot below, Word (and many other things including web pages) have the concept of "paragraphs", allowing for formatting to be different between paragraphs (i.e: the additional space below), and for the first line of a paragraph to be indented, etc...

example of text rendered by Word

In HTML the above could be given as follows:

  Paragraph 1, Sentence 1.<br>
  Paragraph 1, Sentence 2.
  Paragraph 2, Sentence 1.
  Paragraph 2, Sentence 2.
  &tab;Indented by a tab.
  • Based on my knowledge, "↲" is also the Paragraph mark when you choose East Asian languages as Office display language, such as Chinese.
    – Emily
    Commented Jan 9, 2020 at 9:29
  • Oh interesting... do you know what they use in place of the Pilcrow in that situation? I wonder if there are other things I don't know about (like the concept of "Paragraph" being unsuitable perhaps?)... Would you be willing to share a screenshot that follows the format I've presented? (It would be good to include in my answer as a variation - or feel free to edit my answer)
    – Attie
    Commented Jan 9, 2020 at 15:09

Carriage return is used as EOL (end of line) symbol, see https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/C0_and_C1_control_codes . Its english name is 'pilcrow' in typography it is alinea. Its origin and meaning are listed in https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pilcrow#Origin_and_name

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