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Hide and Un-Hide Text In Word

Thursday, July 30th, 2009 by | Filed Under: MS Word

Ever find yourself looking at a Word document only to realize that you need two different printed versions?

Maybe you need one version that contains all of it… but when you give information to someone else you need to remove bits of text here and there that are not for their eyes.

Or maybe you need to display the document to an audience… but not all of what’s in the document should go up for general viewing.

What now?

Do you alter the document, save it under a new name?

Well, you could, but if you’re not going to need them saved separately then why bother? Not to mention all of those similar files can become quite confusing to sort through.

I have a suggestion that you may find more convenient: You could simply print the complete document, hide the text to be removed and then print the newly created version of the document.

Hiding text?

Yep, that’s what I said. Text can be hidden and, much to everyone’s relief, Word is smart enough to bring the remaining portions of the document together so no one can tell.

Interested in knowing how?

Yeah – I was too since you never know when a little tidbit of information like this could come in handy.

So… to hide text you first need to highlight what’s to be hidden. You might be interested in knowing that you can use the Ctrl key to highlight separate sections of text then proceed to hide them all at once.

With the text selected it’s off to the Font dialog box.

Word 2007 users can use either Ctrl + D or click the dialog box launcher located in the bottom right corner of the Font section on the Home tab of the Ribbon.

People using older versions of Word can either go to the Format menu, Font choice or use Ctrl + D.

Once in the Font dialog box you’re looking for the Effects section.


Select the Hidden effect and click OK.

Voila! You’re left with what’s left still looking like the professional document you intended to print.

Now, let’s talk about reversing the process.

To unhide everything at once simply select the entire document (Ctrl + A works beautifully here), return to the Font dialog box, clear the checkbox for Hidden text effects and click OK. (I should let you know that I had to click on the Hidden effect twice to clear it – with both hidden and visible text selected the box is filled in, then one click checks it and the next clears it.)

If you want to unhide only some of the hidden text then you start by highlighting the visible text before and after the area where it belongs.

Now return to the Font dialog box, clear the Hidden effect choice and click OK.

That’s really all there is to it. Text can come and go within the same file removing the need to multiple files that are so similar you begin to get them confused.

Oh yeah… one more thought: This is great for printing or even displaying information to an audience but not for sending electronic versions of the file. Obviously, displaying hidden text isn’t too difficult so if you’ve hidden stuff that others shouldn’t see then you don’t want to use this method. As your mom always said “It’s better to be safe than sorry.”

~ April

2 Responses to “Hide and Un-Hide Text In Word”

  1. bob says:

    Had a user come to me complaining that the document she’s received via e-mail would only print the first three pages even though you could see the enter document in Word. Fussed with it for almost half and hour until I googled the problem and came up with your post. Easy to fix once you know what you’re looking for. Gotta love the internet!

  2. XRumerTest says:

    Hello. And Bye.

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