Changing the Default Highlighting Color

Written by Allen Wyatt (last updated May 11, 2024)
This tip applies to Word 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, Word in Microsoft 365, and 2021


On the Home tab of the ribbon, the default color for the Text Highlight tool is yellow. Larry wonders if there is a way to change the default so that it is, instead, "No Color."

The answer depends on what you mean by "default color." If you mean that the highlighting will be something other than yellow (including "No Color") when you first start Word, then the answer is no. There is no built-in ability to specify a default color according to this definition.

However, if your definition of "default color" means that what Word uses the next time you use the Text Highlight tool, then the answer is yes. You see, if you use the drop-down color selector next to the tool, whatever color you pick (including, again, "No Color") becomes the "default" color for all subsequent uses of the tool during your current session in Word.

Of course, you can change the highlight color when you first start Word by using an AutoExec macro to set the color. The macro using this special name, when stored in your Normal template, runs whenever you start Word, so it is a great place to specify the color you want. Here's how such a macro would look:

Sub AutoExec()
    Options.DefaultHighlightColorIndex = wdNoHighlight
End Sub

Note:

If you would like to know how to use the macros described on this page (or on any other page on the WordTips sites), I've prepared a special page that includes helpful information. Click here to open that special page in a new browser tab.

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (144) applies to Microsoft Word 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, Word in Microsoft 365, and 2021.

Author Bio

Allen Wyatt

With more than 50 non-fiction books and numerous magazine articles to his credit, Allen Wyatt is an internationally recognized author. He is president of Sharon Parq Associates, a computer and publishing services company. ...

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