Software

How to quickly remove all hidden text in Word

Now you see it, now you don't. Learn how to remove hidden text from a Word document.

It's easy to hide text in Word. You just assign the Hidden format. You can hide anything, but most likely, you'll hide confidential or otherwise sensitive data. Now, you might be wondering why you wouldn't just delete the text rather than hide it. Sometimes, it's more efficient to hide it from others, when you know you'll need to refer to it later. Unfortunately, it's easy to forget that the hidden text is there — it's hidden, after all! If you're in the habit of hiding text, you might want to enhance that habit a bit by adding a final step: Remove that hidden text before you distribute the document. Before you can find hidden text, you have to have hidden text to remove. Fortunately, that's the easy part. To hide text, do the following:

  1. Select the text you want to hide.
  2. From the Format menu, choose Font.
  3. Click the Font tab.
  4. Check the Hidden option in the Effects section.

Uncheck the Hidden option to display hidden text. Or click Show/Hide on the Standard toolbar — t's faster. Show/Hide is a toggle, so a second click rehides all the hidden text when you're ready to put it out of sight. Viewing all the hidden text can be helpful, but it won't remove it. To remove all hidden text in a document, do the following:

  1. From the Edit menu, click Replace. Or press [Ctrl]+H.
  2. Click the Find What control.
  3. Click More.
  4. Click the Format button and then choose Font from the resulting menu.
  5. Check the Hidden option in the Effects section.
  6. Click OK.
  7. Click Replace All and Word will delete any text to which you've applied the Hidden format.

If you change your mind, just press [Ctrl]+Z to retrieve the deleted text. One word of warning: Removing hidden text could displace other text, so be sure to look the document over well before distributing.

About

Susan Sales Harkins is an IT consultant, specializing in desktop solutions. Previously, she was editor in chief for The Cobb Group, the world's largest publisher of technical journals.

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