I was just playing around with InDesign and XML when I noticed a hidden (nonprinting) character in my document. It consists of four dots, composing a rectangle: four dots

(The nonprinting character above the h)

What does it mean? Note that the text containing this hidden character is part of an XML structure that I imported into InDesign.

(Additional question: Could I use this hidden character to somehow tell InDesign to automatically insert a hard wrap at that point?)

1 Answer 1


I think you have two text anchors there, as the hidden character for a single text anchor is a floating colon.

  • But nothing is anchored there o.o
    – MoritzLost
    Commented Dec 2, 2014 at 15:17
  • I think @Shaqui is right. I can't find any 4-dot character in Adobe's hidden characters. You can have empty hyperlink text anchors that would be displayed in non-printing characters as a single colon for each. To test, place the cursor to the right of the h, and then press the left arrow key to go backwards until you are past the period. If you pressed it four times, then there are two separate hidden characters between the h and .. This highlight contains 4 characters.
    – apex
    Commented Dec 2, 2014 at 16:52
  • It can also be two index markers, or a single XML element marker that has lost its link to the XML data, which may happen when you copy/pasted text.
    – Jongware
    Commented Dec 2, 2014 at 18:29
  • I have the same problem and need a way of searching for this character so that I can replace it with a page break. If I highlight the character and place it into the 'find and replace' field it comes through as ^I (index marker) but when I search the document for index markers, none are found (despite the fact that these symbols are at the beginning of every poem) Commented May 10, 2022 at 11:06

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