Removing Shading from Many Paragraphs

Written by Allen Wyatt (last updated August 6, 2022)
This tip applies to Word 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, Word in Microsoft 365, and 2021


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.WholeStory
    Selection.Shading.Texture = wdTextureNone
    Selection.Shading.ForegroundPatternColor = wdColorAutomatic
    Selection.Shading.BackgroundPatternColor = wdColorAutomatic
    Selection.Collapse
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 then 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.)

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 (1541) 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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