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The Word Highlighter

Tuesday, November 16th, 2004 by | Filed Under: MS Word

The Word Highlighter

Have you ever been working on a Word document and come to a point where you need to enter a fact that you’re not sure of? Do you really want to stop this very minute to look up the information?

I’m not sure about you, but I hate to stop every few minutes to look something up. I’d rather keep going with the typing part, look information up after I’m done and double check the facts during the editing stage.

So the new question becomes, “How do I remember all the little places where the information needs to be double checked?” I mean, what can you use to remind yourself of the places you know you may need to change?

There’s a neat little feature in MS Word that can help you with this situation, it’s called a highlight. It works just like the highlighter you use on printed pages. (I can remember the countless highlighters I used in college—makes me shudder—fortunately I like this one a whole lot better.)

The Highlight button is on the Formatting Toolbar and looks like this:


To use the Highlighter you could first highlight (select) the text to be highlighted.

Then, click on the Highlight button.

That’s it—the selected text should now be highlighted, just like the good old-fashioned marker type (except it doesn’t make a mess on the monitor).

If you’ve got a lot of highlighting, spread throughout the document then this might be a more efficient way to use the highlighter feature.

Simply turn on the feature by clicking the Highlight button.

Once the highlighter is activated your mouse cursor will change into a little highlighter.

At this point you’re ready to use the mouse to click, hold and drag the highlighter across the text.

This can be done in as many different places as you need—the catch is that you have to turn the highlighter feature off.

To turn the highlighter off you can either hit the Esc key or click the Highlight button again.

Feel the need for a little more color in your life?

Maybe you’re someone who doesn’t go for the traditional yellow highlighter, maybe you like to color code information or you simply don’t like yellow.

Is there a solution for you?

Why, yes there is…

By clicking on the little arrow to the right of the highlighter in the button, a color palette will be displayed.


This will allow you to change the color of the highlighter.

To remove the coloring completely, highlight (select) the text and select the None choice from the color palette…


turn on the highlighter by clicking the button and then “re-highlighting” the text with the exact same color. (If you re-highlight with a different color all you’ll accomplish is a color change but the highlight will still be there.)

Now that you have a digital highlighter, have fun!

~ April

P. S. This is also a good tool when you have someone else proof reading your work. It draws their attention to specific places you need them to check carefully. There are an endless number of uses for the highlighter. Pretend you’re a kid again and these are the new Crayolas!

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