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  12. Dropbox Paper

Formatting a Dropbox Paper doc

Dropbox Paper helps you format your docs with powerful tools. Create tables, assign tasks, and insert emojis with keyboard shortcuts and quick-access menus.

Note: Some formatting options, like highlighting and underlining text, are only accessible via keyboard shortcuts or markdown. For a full list of keyboard shortcuts and markdown:

  1. Sign in to Paper.
  2. Type and / on Mac or Ctrl and / on Windows.

Sections in this article

This article contains several sections. Click one of the links below to be taken directly to that section of this article.

Formatting menus

Paper has a rich set of formatting options available for editing and organization. To view the menu of options, double-click a word or click-and-drag over a block of text:

formatting menu

From this menu you can:

  • Create bold text
  • Strikethrough text
  • Create section heads or subsection heads
  • Create a bullet-pointed or numbered list
  • Create a task list
  • Add a hyperlink
  • Leave a comment

For other formatting options:

  1. Hover your mouse to the left of a line or paragraph of text.
  2. Click the + icon that appears.
leave a comment

The options available in this menu are:

  • Insert an image
  • Insert a file or link from Dropbox
  • Create a table
  • Create a task list
  • Create a bullet-pointed list
  • Insert a page divider or a line of code

To exit this menu, click the X icon beside the menu options.


Add a table to your Paper doc:

  1. Hover your mouse to the left of a line or paragraph of text.
  2. Click the + icon that appears.
  3. Click the table icon (Insert table).
Paper insert table

Formatting your table:

  • Resize columns: Click the column border and drag to the desired width
  • Remove individual rows or columns: Click the - (minus button) near the edge of the column or row you want to delete
  • Add or remove multiple rows or columns: Click-and-drag on the + (plus) or - (minus) buttons at the edge of a column or row
  • Make a full-width table: Click-and-drag on the icon at the bottom right corner of the table
  • Reorder columns: Click-and-drag the left of a row or top of a column to reorder.
Paper formatting gif

Tables of contents

A table of contents is automatically generated for all documents that contain headers. To view the table of contents, hover your cursor over the stacked lines that appear in the left margin of your doc.

table of contents
  • Note: The table of contents only reflects text that is tagged as a section or subsection header in your doc (as H1, H2, or H3).
  • Note: H1 headers are not indented. H2 and H3 subheaders are indented based on how deeply they are nested in the tree of headers.

Tasks and checkboxes

You can create checkboxes by typing [] or [ ] followed by a space. A checkbox will automatically be generated that you can check or leave unchecked. To use these checkboxes as tasks and assign a task to someone, @ mention someone on the same line. The person tagged will receive an email notification linking them to that item.

create task checkbox

Markdown / code formatting

Code blocks allow you to embed code into Paper docs. To do so, press the + icon in the sidebar and click the {} symbol.


You can select a different programming language in the formatting options for code blocks. To view the formatting options, double-click a word or click-and-drag on a word or block of text. You will see this menu:

programming language menu

You can also type a single back tick before and after a word or block of text to capture inline code:

inline code


Dropbox Paper supports the use of LaTeX. To trigger LaTeX editing mode, type $$ in your doc. You can then type full LaTeX symbols in Dropbox Paper. When you're finished typing, you can render the code by pressing Enter or Return on your keyboard. Rendered code will appear as expected:

LaTeX editing


To add an emoji, type : (colon) to show the available options. From here you can either click the emoji you want, or continue typing the corresponding code:

emojis menu