Removing Shading from Many Paragraphs

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated February 21, 2015)


Murray knows how to remove shading from a single paragraph. However, he needs to remove shading from many paragraphs in a document. He wonders how to do so without the need of doing each paragraph individually.

There are actually a few ways you can approach this issue. First, if you don't need shading on any of the paragraphs in your document, you could follow these general steps:

  1. Press Ctrl+A. This selects your entire document.
  2. Display the Home tab of the ribbon.
  3. Use the Shading tool (in the Paragraph group) to remove any shading.

A macro could be easily recorded to perform the above steps; it would end up looking something like the following. (I've removed any comments and extraneous information from the macro. If you recorded one, it would actually be more verbose.)

Sub Macro1()
    Selection.Shading.Texture = wdTextureNone
    Selection.Shading.ForegroundPatternColor = wdColorAutomatic
    Selection.Shading.BackgroundPatternColor = wdColorAutomatic
End Sub

If, instead, you only need to remove shading from some of your paragraphs, you could "repeat" your removal actions. Just remove the shading from one paragraph and the place the insertion point in another paragraph and press F4. (The F4 key repeats the last action taken.) Continue to place the insertion point in other paragraphs and press F4 each time. This continues to work as long as you don't perform some other editing or formatting task.

A third option is the most powerful: Define styles. You can create styles that define how you want your text to look—including the presence or absence of shading—and then apply those styles to paragraphs throughout your document. It is fast, easy, and consistent. (How you define styles is described in other WordTips.)

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (1541) applies to Microsoft Word 2007, 2010, and 2013.

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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What is 1 + 8?

2017-11-26 04:38:00

Ken Endacott

The methods given will only remove shading where it is applied to whole paragraphs. Shading can be paragraph or character. Character shading can be removed by selecting the shaded text and clicking CTRL + SPACE. However this also removes other character formatting such as bold, underline or italic.

If the shading is applied to scattered text in a large document then there are two choices, the first is to select each paragraph that has some shaded test and apply No Color from the shading menu, just as long as you don’t include the paragraph mark in the selection. A somewhat tedious exercise.

The second method is to use a macro. The following macro will remove both paragraph and character shading from a document without affecting other formatting.

Sub removeShading3()
Dim aRange As Range
Dim aPara As Paragraph
Dim k As Long

For Each aPara In ActiveDocument.Paragraphs
Selection.Shading.BackgroundPatternColor = wdColorAutomatic
k = aPara.Range.Characters.Count
Set aRange = aPara.Range
If k > 1 Then aRange.MoveEnd unit:=wdCharacter, Count:=-1
aRange.Shading.Texture = wdTextureNone
aRange.Shading.ForegroundPatternColor = wdColorAutomatic
aRange.Shading.BackgroundPatternColor = wdColorAutomatic

Next aPara
MsgBox "Finished removing shading"
End Sub

2015-09-30 15:31:42


Dr H: See the WordTips FAQ if you need to know what the ribbon is:


2015-09-30 15:20:04

Dr H

WTF is the "Home tab of the ribbon"?

I don't see anything called a "ribbon", nor any "home tabs".

Don't understand why a macro should be necessary to turn off a simple text format like shading. Never had this problem with WordPerfect.

2015-02-21 11:56:15

Barry Thistlethwaite

Ctrl + y does the same thing as F4.

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