How to Get Microsoft Word Back to Normal View: A Step-by-Step Guide

To get Microsoft Word back to normal view, you simply need to click on the “View” tab at the top of the Word window, then click on “Print Layout” within the “Views” group. This will reset the document back to the default viewing mode, making your document appear the way it would when printed.

After completing this action, your document will return to the default view, where you can easily see page breaks, headers, footers, and other layout elements as they will appear on a printed page.


Microsoft Word is an incredibly versatile tool that most of us use daily. Whether you’re drafting a letter, compiling a report, or crafting a novel, Word is the go-to for many when it comes to word processing. However, sometimes we might find ourselves in unfamiliar territory within the software. Maybe you’ve clicked something accidentally, and now your document looks nothing like it should. The layout is all wrong, the pages are displaying side by side, or you’re stuck in a weird reading mode. Fret not, for these are common issues that can be easily fixed with a few clicks.

Getting Microsoft Word back to the normal view is important because it’s the most convenient layout for most editing and formatting tasks. It’s the view that we are most familiar with, the one that shows us our documents as they would appear when printed, with all the margins, headers, and footers in plain sight. This topic is relevant to anyone who uses Microsoft Word, from students to professionals, as it can save time and frustration when you need to get your work done efficiently.

Related: How to Delete Microsoft Word Documents: A Step-by-Step Guide

Step by Step Tutorial to Get Microsoft Word Back to Normal View

The following steps will guide you through the process of resetting Microsoft Word to its normal view.

Step 1: Open Microsoft Word

Open your Microsoft Word document.

If you don’t already have your document open, find it on your computer and double-click it to open it in Microsoft Word.

Step 2: Click the “View” tab

Click on the “View” tab at the top of the Word window.

The “View” tab is located in the ribbon at the top of the Word window, alongside other tabs such as “File,” “Home,” “Insert,” and “Design.”

Step 3: Select “Print Layout”

Within the “Views” group, click on “Print Layout.”

“Print Layout” is typically the default view in Word. It is one of several viewing options available but is the most useful for standard document editing.


FamiliarityThe normal view is the one most users are accustomed to, making it easier to navigate and work with documents.
Detailed EditingThis view provides a clear layout of the document, allowing for precise editing and formatting.
Print PreviewThe normal view gives a good representation of how the document will look when printed, helping to catch any layout issues before printing.


Limited Reading FocusThe normal view can be less comfortable for extended reading compared to the “Read Mode.”
DistractionThere may be more visual elements on the screen, such as margins and page layout, which can be distracting to some users.
PerformanceOn some older computers or with very large documents, the normal view might run slower than simpler views.

Additional Information

When working with Microsoft Word, there can be several reasons why you might find yourself in a different view. Perhaps you’re collaborating with others, and someone has changed the viewing mode, or you’ve accidentally clicked something without realizing it. The important thing to remember is that switching views in Word is a non-destructive action. You’re not going to mess up your document by changing the view – it’s purely about how you see the document on your screen.

Another tip when working with Word is to familiarize yourself with other view options as well. “Web Layout” can be useful when you’re designing content that will be displayed on a screen rather than printed. “Draft View,” on the other hand, strips away most of the layout to focus purely on the text, which can be handy when you need to do a lot of editing. Knowing how to quickly switch between these views will make you a more efficient Word user.


  1. Open Microsoft Word.
  2. Click on the “View” tab.
  3. Select “Print Layout.”

Frequently Asked Questions

What if the “Print Layout” option is greyed out?

If the “Print Layout” option is not clickable, it may mean that another view mode is locked. Try closing any other viewing panes, like the Navigation pane or the Document Map.

Can I use a keyboard shortcut to return to normal view?

Yes, you can. The default keyboard shortcut for switching to Print Layout view is usually “Alt+Ctrl+P.”

Will changing the view affect how my document prints?

No, changing the view does not affect the printing settings. It only changes how you see the document on your screen.

What should I do if Microsoft Word doesn’t remember my view preference?

Make sure you are not in compatibility mode, and if the issue persists, it may be a sign of a deeper software issue that might require an update or repair installation.

Can I customize what the normal view looks like?

While you can’t change the fundamental aspects of the normal view, you can customize things like zoom level and the visibility of certain layout elements.


In conclusion, getting Microsoft Word back to normal view is a simple task that can save you a lot of frustration. Whether you’ve wandered off into a different view by accident or you’re returning to your preferred layout after working in a different mode, knowing how to navigate the viewing options in Word is a handy skill.

This knowledge allows you to work more efficiently and with greater confidence, knowing that you’re in control of the software and can adapt it to your needs. So next time you find your Word document looking a little off, just remember the quick steps we’ve covered, and you’ll be back to normal in no time.