Really old versions of Microsoft Word had a full-screen mode available under the View menu, which was ideal if you wanted to do a presentation of the content in your document or if you just wanted to use up all the screen real estate.

Full Screen option in Word 2003

This option allowed you to hide the Office elements around the edges of the document, making the document take up the whole screen. However, starting with Word 2007, the option seems to have changed or disappeared. For example, Word 2007 does have the Full Screen Reading mode available on the View ribbon.

Full Screen Reading option in Word 2007

However, this mode seems similar to Print Preview and does not produce a presentation effect. The document does not take up the whole screen and there are still Office elements around the edges of the document.

Full Screen Reading mode

In Word 2010, 2013, and 2016, there isn’t even a Full Screen Reading option. The Full Screen mode from the old Word still does exist in newer versions of Word, but it is a hidden feature. There are three different ways you can get into a full screen presentation mode in Word, which I will talk about below.

It’s also worth noting that the first two methods mentioned below can also be used with Excel, PowerPoint and other Office applications. So if you want to view your Excel spreadsheet in full-screen mode, you can use the keyboard shortcut or the quick access toolbar method below.

Keyboard Shortcut

You can enter the traditional Full Screen mode by pressing Alt + V and then pressing U. All the Office elements are removed and you are left with a scroll bar at the right side of the screen, if applicable, for the length of the current document. Press Esc to exit this viewing mode.


Quick Access Toolbar

To make the Full Screen mode more accessible, you can add this viewing mode to the Quick Access toolbar. To do this, click on the small drop down arrow that is located on the right-hand side of the quick access toolbar. From the list, choose More Commands at the bottom.

In the Choose commands from box, select All Commands first. Then, scroll down in the list until you find the Toggle Full Screen View command. Select it and click the Add button.

Adding the Toggle Full Screen View command

Click OK to close the Word Options dialog box.

Closing the Word Options dialog box

The Toggle Full Screen View button is now available on the Quick Access toolbar.

When you view a document in Full Screen view in Word , the ribbon completely disappears and won’t be accessible. To get the menu back, you must press Esc to return to exit Full Screen view.

Read Mode

Finally, Word has one other option called Read Mode. If you click on View in the ribbon, you’ll see it at the far left. This mode basically hides certain Word elements from the screen and formats the page differently.

If you click on this option, the window will remain the same size, but you’ll only see the toolbar at the top with just a few options.

If you click on the small little square icon towards the top right, it will hide the toolbar and make the window full screen. You can get the toolbar back by just moving your mouse to the top of the screen. To exit Read Mode, you have to click on View and then choose Edit Document. In read mode, you can’t edit the document, whereas in the other full screen mode, you can still edit the Word doc.

Those are basically all the ways you can get a document into full screen mode for Word. The first two methods also apply to other Office programs like Excel and PowerPoint. Enjoy!