Word for Mac – Focus view for reading

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“Why doesn’t Word for Mac have a reading view like Word for Windows?”   Clare C. Nottingham, UK?

Word 2016 for Mac does have a variation on reading view.  It’s similar to Word for Windows, but it’s renamed.  Look for Focus on the View tab.   Word for Windows has Read mode.

Focus mode (as it was called then) was in Word 2011 for Mac.  Word 2016 for Mac originally didn’t have a Focus view which raised a lot of complaints from angry Mac users.

Why is it called ‘Focus’?  Maybe because it puts the document full screen but it can be edited, unlike the Word for Windows version which is strictly read-only.

It’s a full screen read and editing view of the current document.  Press Escape to return to desktop view.

Drag your mouse pointer to the top of the screen to see the Word ribbon and Mac toolbar.

You can Zoom the page view, choose Page Width or view two (Multiple) pages on the screen.


The background area for Focus view is configurable from the Background button on the ribbon.  More backgrounds are being added to Focus mode, this example is from an “insiders preview’ of Word 2016 for Mac.


Some touchpad gestures work nicely in Focus mode:

Two fingers will scroll up and down the document

Three fingers moves left/right – switching between Focus view and the standard desktop

More Navigation and Shortcut

There are other ways to reach Focus view.  On the Status bar there’s a Focus button.

It’s on the View menu which is also where the shortcut to Focus view is displayed.

That’s  Control + Shift + Command + F – a four-fingered shortcut!

Word 2011 for Mac didn’t have a shortcut to Focus mode; you had to add one yourself.

Focus view works fine as far as it goes. But some users would like a ‘read-only’ option for the view, to prevent stray keystrokes getting into a document being reviewed.

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