Word's highlighting feature lets you display color behind text. (Don't confuse the term highlight with select-they're not the same, although many people use the terms interchangeably.) In Word 2007/2010, the highlighting option's in the Font group on the Home tab.
Similar to most formatting options, this one's easy to use. Select a color from the dropdown and select your text, which makes this option just a bit different than others because you select the color before you select the text. A second click disables the tool. To remove existing highlight, select the text and choose No Color from the Text Highlight dropdown.
Most of you already know about this tool; what you might not know about is 2007/2010's new keyboard shortcut for this tool. Simply select the text and press [Ctrl]+[Alt]+H to highlight the current selection. It acts as a toggle, so repeat those steps to remove the highlight. Since you're not selecting a color, this method applies the currently selected color, but if you don't change the color often, you can probably live with it.
It's a great addition to the ribbon version, but, if you're using Word 2003, there's no keyboard shortcut for this feature. You can add one of your own as follows:
- From the Tools menu, choose Customize.
- In the resulting Customize dialog box, click Keyboard (it's all three tabs).
- Choose All Commands from the Categories list.
- In the Commands list, choose Highlight.
- Click inside the Press New Shortcut Key control.
- Press the keys you want to assign to this shortcut-perhaps, [Alt]+H.
- Click Assign.
- Click Close twice.
Now, in Word 2003, you can select text, press [Alt]+H and apply (and remove) a highlight.
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.