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Formatting a Dropbox Paper doc

New formatting options!

We've improved the way headers and document titles look in Paper:

  • H1, H2, and document titles now have an increased font weight by default
  • You can bold an H1 or H2 header by highlighting the text, and then pressing the B in the formatting bar or typing cmd + B on your keyboard

Dropbox Paper helps you format your docs with powerful tools. Create tables, assign to-dos, 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:

Formatting menus

Paper has a rich set of formatting options available for editing and organization.

On paper.dropbox.com

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
  • Create a task list
  • Add a hyperlink
  • Leave a comment

For other formatting options, click into an empty line and use the menu that appears to the left.

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.

On your phone or tablet

In the Paper mobile apps, you can access most of these same formatting options. To view the formatting menu:

  1. Open the Paper mobile app.
  2. Open the Paper doc you want to format.
  3. Tap a line or tap Edit and your keyboard should appear with the formatting options above it.


Paper has three types of headers: H1, H2, and H3.

On paper.dropbox.com, you can add an H1 or H2 by using the formatting toolbar or the shortcuts listed below.

  • H1: Type # and press space, then type your header
  • H2: Type ## and press space, then type your header
  • H3: Type ### and press space, then continue typing (you can also add an H3 by highlighting and bolding an entire line of text)

You can also make H1 and H2 headers more bold by highlighting and bolding them as you would with any other text.

On your phone or tablet, use the T icons to choose a header, or the B icon to bold your text.


Add a table to your Paper doc:

  1. Click into an empty line in your doc.
  2. Click the table icon (Insert table) in the menu to the left.

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.
Formatting a table

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.


  • The table of contents only reflects text that is tagged as a section or subsection header in your doc (as H1H2, or H3).
  • H1 headers are not indented. H2 and H3 subheaders may be indented, depending on where they appear in the doc.
  • To keep the table of contents visible, click one of its links. The table of contents will then remain, even if you move your cursor away.

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.

When you complete a task, check the box.

Code blocks

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 code
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.

LaTeX in Paper


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 in Paper

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