2003.10.20 09:56 PM

Unwanted Word Crop Marks

Got a note from a client today wondering why some, but not all, of their Word 2002 installations show these crop marks (circled in red) while in Print View, even when the Tools > Options > View > Print and Web Layout options > Text boundaries option is turned off. A quick check with the Google Gods turned up this answer, courtesy of Suzanne S. Barnhill, a Microsoft MVP.

Turns out that if Asian language support is enabled using the Microsoft Office XP Language Settings tool, found on the Start > Programs > Microsoft Office Tools menu, these bothersome little corner marks are always present. A quick check on my own system proved Ms. Barnhill to be right on the money.

Big thanks to Ms. Barnhill for making me look like an MVP, if only for a minute.


Thanks for the tip - it's been bothering me for a while as well! :-)

Chris | 2003.12.18 05:32 AM

You're welcome!

ewbi.develops | 2003.12.18 08:50 AM

Thank you so much for this tip! Those marks have been driving me crazy!


Tom | 2004.01.02 08:29 PM

Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! You can't even imagine how hard I have tried to get rid of those bothersome marks, with no luck until now! All hail!

Susan | 2004.01.11 08:33 AM

Bless you. I spent a couple of hours this weekend trying to outguess the malignant Word programmers, unable to believe that the answer wasn't just round the corner. I didn't even try Asian corners . . . where the answer's nestling to the north of Katmandu!

Jim Bright | 2004.11.20 10:54 AM

You're welcome, Jim.

Of course, I was merely channeling Suzanne S. Barnhill in this post, so she deserves all the thanks. Here are her Word-related FAQ pages (the first has an email contact link):


ewbi.develops | 2004.11.20 09:15 PM

Great - worked for me!!!
Saved me some time!

Leon | 2005.02.07 04:40 AM

Thanks a million. Those marks were the makings of several long nights attempting to solve the puzzle. They started when my teenager was Im ing through a translater program to mess with his friends.

| 2005.03.02 08:28 PM

Wow, what a relief. I couldn't get ANY work done with those pesky little things staring me in the face after trying everything in options and view, uninstalling and reinstalling and still nothing. It really gets to me when stuff like that happens. Thanks heaps!

btw, what possible use could those corner guides have for Asian languages?

Joshua | 2005.03.09 11:55 PM

Joshua - Good question. I have no idea, but maybe someone who does will see this and let us know.

ewbi.develops | 2005.03.10 09:41 AM

Thanks, we (meaning my friend) have been trying to remove those crop marks for over a year. We were so happy when we installed Office 2003 and they weren't there. Well they weren't there for just moments. The next time I opened a new document they were back!!!!!! Now they are gone. Thanks

ddebbles | 2005.03.12 04:01 PM

I can die happy now! Thank you.

Erick | 2005.04.06 08:26 AM

Husband told me no-one else in the World could possibly be bothered by these crop marks - many thanks for proving him wrong (again!)

Sharry | 2005.04.21 12:39 PM

but then again my advice to look up crops marks and print view in google worked! :o)

david | 2005.04.21 01:50 PM


ewbi.develops | 2005.04.21 02:26 PM

I still can't get them to disappear!!! Anyone have any other ideas? I removed all languages except english -- do I have to restart my machine?? They are driving me crazy!

MT | 2005.05.09 12:25 PM

Thank you, Thank you, Thank you!! All of a sudden those things showed up and it was really messing with me and my work!! So glad to have a resolve.

Liberty | 2005.11.21 11:57 AM

Thank you - I have spent the afternoon going mad!!!

Robyn Murphy | 2006.02.18 11:23 PM

I haven't got mine to go away. I've only got English listed as an enabled language and those marks are still there. I've even installed all Asian languages and then disabled them again just to check and they won't go away. Anyone got a suggestion?

Adam | 2006.03.27 05:52 PM

Hi Adam,

Have you also turned off the Text boundaries option, as described in the original post? What version of Word are you using?

ewbi.develops | 2006.03.27 06:46 PM

Yes, I have turned off the text boudaries option. I am using Word 02. I have noticed that even though I have only English enabled, in my Word under format there is still an option for asian layout. Also under format if I go to reveal format it has default and asian listed. Under language it has arabic and english listed. I clicked both and tried what I could. Under font is says latin text font and has 'use asian text font' listed. But i can't seem to get that to go away unless I pick a specific english font. I also clicked language and the only languages that had check marks by it were english, french, and spanish. Any thoughts?

Adam | 2006.03.28 02:30 PM

Hi Adam,

Are you working with an existing document or starting a new document? If the former, try the latter and see if the behavior is the same. If the latter, consider removing your Normal.dot (even temporarily) to see whether your new-doc behavior differs.

Beyond that I'm afraid you've exceeded my knowledge of this area of Word. As I mentioned in my original post, I was merely repeating the advice of Suzanne S. Barnhill, which seemed to work for most cases. You might want to check out her sites (links in the comments above) and/or send her a note to see what she thinks.

Please feel free to come back, though, with anything you learn. We'd like to hear about it. Good luck!

ewbi.develops | 2006.03.29 11:07 AM

I had the same problem, it was driving me nuts as I had done nothing to enable these crop marks. Now resolved following the steps below.
Restart "Word" in "Safe mode" by holding the Ctrl key down as you click the link. You may need to do this a couple of times before the marks disappear, and make sure all other office programs (Excel, Outlook etc) are closed down.
This worked for me, I hope it works for you

Dan | 2006.04.05 03:29 AM

Hi Dan,

Really interesting findings - I wish I knew what was causing that. Thanks for sharing it with us.

ewbi.develops | 2006.04.05 10:09 AM

Finally!! Can't tell you how much I appreciate the post - the crop marks were starting to haunt me!

Rob | 2006.06.09 05:39 AM

You guys are amazing! I too still had the crop marks after removing support for any language other than English (US). This Ctrl key Safe mode thing did the trick for me too. This makes absolutely no sense -- but I'm thrilled it worked. And the Asian language tab in Options is gone as well.

Kindest regards,


Neil | 2006.07.26 04:20 PM

Brilliant! (Dan's advice regarding starting Word in safe mode). I had no Asian language support installed and none of the solutions related to that were working. I thought I was facing a complete re-install. Thanks ever so much.

RichardB | 2006.08.02 02:24 AM

Thank goodness I found this site! I tried the language thing everyone had mentioned on other sites, but nothing worked to remove the annoying crop marks. Found this site and read about the safe mode trick and now they are finally gone! Thank you!!!

Lisa | 2006.08.03 08:10 PM

Dan's suggestion regarding safe mode is sure paying big dividends here. Dan - thanks again!

ewbi.develops | 2006.08.03 08:20 PM

I had the same problem that even after making the language change, I still had the Asian language format bar in the menu and the margin marks. I copied the Word shortcut from my menu onto my Desktop and then started Word in safe mode by CTRL+clicking on the icon on my desktop. This fixed the problem. I am using Word 2003/XP.

Thanks to Dan.

J G | 2006.08.06 07:23 AM

Thank you for the tip about starting in Safe Mode. It's the only thing that worked for me too! :-)

Diane | 2006.09.24 10:17 PM

Just noticed that Microsoft posted a Knowledge Base article on this back in March:


However, they don't mention Dan's safe mode trick, which has made the difference for many folks.

ewbi.develops | 2006.10.14 09:39 PM

LOL, I can finally get back to work. Big thank you!

Emanuel Nazareth | 2006.10.22 12:21 PM


Skual | 2006.11.11 02:16 PM

tkanks a lot
i ve already lost 3h of my life trying to remove those f****ing crop marks!
thanks again!

francois | 2006.12.20 12:55 AM

I tried so hard to remove those! I'm glad someone was able to figure it out and posted it. Microsoft is so clueless sometimes. Thanks!

Matthew | 2007.01.17 05:27 PM

AWESOME!!!-the safe mode trick saved my sanity

i can work in peace now

*sigh of relief*

meggiejoy | 2007.01.30 10:44 PM

What are crop marks?

Tina | 2007.04.22 09:05 AM

Hi Tina,

In general, they are "a set of horizontal and vertical lines which indicate where a photograph, illustration, or page should be eliminated or trimmed". I got that from http://www.rainwater.com/glossary/c.html.

More specifically, in Word, they are corner marks at the intersection of the horizontal and vertical border margins on each page. When not afflicted by the problem described in the post above, you can turn them on and off in Word using the "Text boundaries" checkbox on the Tools, Options View tab.

ewbi.develops | 2007.04.22 04:15 PM

What’s with these crop marks in Word? For some mysterious reason, everybody’s irritated by them (myself included) to the point of going mad and getting rid of them is such a relief...

Risbo | 2007.05.30 04:43 PM

I'm not sure, Risbo. Personally, I was irritated by the appearance of unnecessary visible elements on my otherwise clean writing space. I suspect a lot of folks feel the same way. But the thing that really got my goat was that they seemed *impossible* to remove. Maybe we can come up with it a new medical term to distinguish this syndrome. Wordcropmarkusencephalitis, or something. ;)

ewbi.develops | 2007.05.30 08:03 PM

Thanks so much! We wasted 2 days trying to get rid of them and the Language thing didn't help. Not only did safe mode get rid of them, but they also solved another annoying problem: everytime I opened Word in the past 2 days, it was trying to install Front Page.


M-R Cain | 2007.06.02 03:53 PM

thank you!!!

both the tip, and the 'control key' trick, which was also key

god I hate microsoft sometimes... I wish they had competition, and then they would actually give a flying f**l about making things like this less painful.

Marc Goodman | 2007.07.07 06:36 PM

Thanks! These little buggers were driving me nuts! Again, MS just has to do things without making sense... I agree totally with many posts here!

FlaBeachBum | 2007.09.19 04:06 PM


Thanks a ton, starting word in safe mode works!!!

Avi | 2007.11.21 01:57 PM

This has been excellent help! I had no idea there even WAS a "Safe Mode" for Word! I too had the problem of only English language showing, no text borders selected, and the crop marks in Word 2002.

I used the Ctrl-start trick, and Wah-Lah! The crop marks at long last have disappeared! Maybe Micro$oft should include this tip on their own informational page about removing crop marks.

Craig | 2007.12.28 10:55 AM

I am so glad that there are people out there who are so much smarter than the Microsoft Programmers. Why would anyone want those silly crop marks anyway, and why make them so difficult to remove. Thanks. I can spend my time worrying about other things now.

Peter Yudkin | 2008.01.10 05:41 PM

Thank you so much. The "Safe Mode" trick did it for me. You made me so happy!


Georg | 2008.01.16 01:04 AM

Great and thanks -- getting rid of those crop/margin marks was a real hassle until I discovered this site.

Graham | 2008.01.21 02:12 PM

Your tip from the past (October 2003) worked great!
Time traveled all the way into 2008 via this site!
Thank you so much!

Steve | 2008.02.12 12:06 AM

Thank you so much! - what a waste of time -

Rick W. | 2008.02.19 01:49 PM

Wow. Look at how long this has been going on! It hit me today and I wasted 3 hours truing menu options and then removing languages before stumbling on this thread. Yep --- Safe Mode worked for me! Thanks, Dan ... (2 years later)!

Tom H. | 2008.04.24 03:55 PM

Thanks for the tip. I was going crazy. By the way, what do the Asian languages have to do with crop marks? Why would enabling them insert these marks?

sterl1i | 2008.04.29 06:02 AM

thanks thanks thanks.

What was really wierd about them was the if you click on the crop marks, they actually open up the page set up. who needs that crap.

oh on a side note: don't remove bullets if you have the list plus another line below highlighted, it crashes word. only select the list and dont' go above or below when you hightlight it....

MSWordhater | 2008.06.16 02:51 PM

i had been ignoring them for some time...
but it grew on me... n then i figured nothing can be done... microsoft is so pathetic n useless at times...
neways... thanks for the tip...
u r a saviour...

| 2008.08.26 08:05 AM

My friend Lee and I also wasted endless hours trying to fix this stupid problem.
A huge "THANKS" and lots of kisses from the girls in sunny Western Australia!

Clare Bear | 2008.09.26 05:10 AM

Great fix re Safe mode for Word - NB, for me I had to hold Ctrl down, then start Word from the All Programs menu - I then got a message along the lines of "Word has detected you are holding the Ctrl key down, do you want to start in safe mode?". Previously I had held Ctrl down and double-clicked my Word document - this did NOT start Word in Safe mode.

Simon | 2008.11.11 03:14 AM

Thank you SO much!!!! You really saved me!

C | 2008.12.03 12:13 PM

The safe mode trick worked for me too. I've been struggling with this problems for many months now. Thank god I found this site.

Praveen Advani | 2009.02.09 11:40 PM

What a relief! For months I was searching and searching to get rid of those blue waves under the text. Then I stumbled on this article, tried the Safe Mode (didn't even know it existed!) and now it's back to normal! Thanks a lot!!

Ron van Oorschot | 2009.02.27 02:14 AM

Problem is, I have a document in English & Chinese, but I don't want crop marks! Not only that, but when I convert to a pdf, they're still there.

John | 2009.04.23 10:34 PM


Paula | 2009.07.01 03:34 PM

I don't have any Asian languages and I still have the darn crop marks.

Veronica Boaz | 2010.02.08 11:50 AM

I had no Asian language support installed so wasn't able to remove those crop marks. I spent hours searching for a way to get rid of those stupid things!!! Sure enough it's gone now. Thank-you so much. Happy I found the site :)

Reema | 2010.02.19 05:10 AM

I found "delete East Asian Languages" in about 5 minutes but it didn't make a change. I put up with it for a while, but I don't do well with software glitches that "can't be fixed." I got lucky and found your "open Word in safe mode" trick. Got rid of the margin marks and the extra tabs, etc. Weird but Yay!

Ben | 2010.02.23 03:22 PM

I had given up hope until I found this site! I tried the Safe Mode trick, but no luck - until I went to C > Program Files > Microsoft Office > OFFICE11 > then held down shift and double-clicked WINWORD.EXE. Word opened in safe mode and was back to normal. THANK YOU!

-jon- | 2010.02.25 02:30 PM

Oops. That should have been "held down Ctrl"

-jon- | 2010.02.25 02:31 PM

Thanks! Turning off the Japanese language that was in my language settings got rid of them. I never turned that language on to begin with - I think it must have happened during those pesky Mircosoft updates.

Leah | 2010.04.28 05:35 PM

had tried everything, no asian languages enabled... but Dan's advice sorted it out! thank you Dan, I was ready to smash the damn thing to bits!!!

elena | 2010.06.03 01:46 AM

The safe mode worked for me as well! I now remember that I did get a message a while back that Word did not close properly and did I want to open in safe mode, and I had said no. This was when the computer did an auto Windows update when I wasn't at the computer and rebooted on it's own. I didn't associate that episode with this problem. THANKS!!! And finally something that turned out to be an easy fix!

Barbara | 2010.09.17 08:25 AM

Dan's the man!

Thank You Dan | 2010.11.09 02:59 PM

Saved me after a long searching on the solution. Thanks!

MasterW | 2010.11.22 06:17 AM

Nope. None of these solutions worked for me. Still have the crop marks.

AWB | 2011.02.16 03:42 PM

If the Microsoft Office Tools is not installed, this can be repaired manually. It seems to be a per user setting, so administrative privileges are not needed.

type in REGEDIT, then press enter
when it starts, navigate to:


In that, amongst other things, there are multiple 4 digit entries with a value of either ON or OFF. The 4 letter codes are for various types of language support, 1033 is US English, 2057 is British English, and so forth. Here is a table:


Mine also had 1032 (Greek) and 1053 (Swedish) enabled. The latter is most likely there
solely for the Angstrom symbol. These were all ON

I had opened a document which permanently turned on Asian text processing options in Word 2003. This had added entry 1041 (Japanese) and/or set it to ON. Changing 1041 to OFF eliminated all the extraneous Asian language stuff: no extra menu entries, no unwanted marks in the corners of each page. My guess is that the entries for Korean and Chinese would act the same way.

Mathog | 2011.10.03 10:41 AM

Great additional details, Mathog. Thanks for sharing!

ewbi.develops | 2011.10.03 10:47 AM

HELP! I have had this issue i have never had any "Asian" languages under Microsoft tools - and also tried the "Text Boundaries" which isn't checked, what else can remove this? It has slowed down my Word =(

sandra | 2012.01.09 09:24 AM

Hi Sandra,

Based on the history of comments here, it seems like some unlucky users experience this issue without actually having any of the obvious reasons, making it a pretty tricky problem to resolve. One thing I suggest, if you haven't already, is reading back through the comments about use of Word's "safe mode". Some users have had some luck with eliminating the marks this way when nothing else worked. Good luck!

ewbi.develops | 2012.01.09 09:44 AM

Thanks for the safe mode trick! Worked for me after other tips failed to correct the issue.

Whitney | 2012.02.16 01:48 PM


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