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MS Word: Hide Highlighting From View on Paper and the Screen

There are many reasons to use the highlighter tool in MS Word.


Maybe you’re sending the file to others and you need to draw their attention to certain areas.

Maybe you still have a few facts to research and are highlighting the ones in question so you don’t forget to check them all.

Maybe it’s another person’s document and you’re simply using the highlighter to point out areas of concern without needing to leave a comment or actually change the text.

Whatever reason you have for highlighting the text, it’s possible that you sometimes want the highlighting to show / print and sometimes you don’t.

If it seems to you that the only way to not see or print the highlighting is to remove it – which is a huge pain if you actually need the highlights still.

Fortunately, unknown to most, we do have control over the displaying of highlight both on the screen and on the page. It’s just a matter of knowing where to get control of the situation.

To either view or hide the highlighting we need to go to the Options dialog box. (Office Button / File tab, Options)

Once there  we’re looking for the Display category.


Now it’s just a matter of either clearing or checking the “Show highlighter marks” choice.

This one option controls both the screen and printing simultaneously so don’t worry about which one is affected by your choice… the answer is both.

At any rate, once you’ve either chosen to display or hide the highlighting click OK.


Highlighting visible or not – it’s up to you.

The best part?

You didn’t permanently remove them – they’re just hidden from view until you change your mind!

~ April