Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Word versions: 2007, 2010, and 2013. If you are using an earlier version (Word 2003 or earlier), this tip may not work for you. For a version of this tip written specifically for earlier versions of Word, click here: Using Non-Printing Notes.

Using Non-Printing Notes

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated September 7, 2013)

2

Word has a text attribute that has been around since the early days of Word for DOS. Hidden text is an attribute that allows you to enter information that you can easily suppress. You can turn it off so it does not appear on the screen, or you can turn it off so it doesn't print. To format text as hidden, follow these steps:

  1. Select the text you want hidden.
  2. Press Ctrl+D. Word displays the Font dialog box. (See Figure 1.)
  3. Figure 1. The Font tab of the Font dialog box.

  4. Click on the Hidden check box. (The check box isn't hidden; it is named "Hidden.")
  5. Click on OK.

Hidden text shows on the screen with a dotted underline. Unfortunately, this is easy to miss as you are reading the document on the screen, so it is a good idea to use a text color to highlight your hidden text. For instance, it could be green as well as hidden. In this way, your notes and messages are much harder to miss. You can even define a character or paragraph style that has the hidden attribute set, along with the color attribute to make the text more noticeable.

You can control whether hidden text is displayed or printed by following these steps:

  1. Display the Word Options dialog box. (In Word 2007 click the Office button and then click Word Options. In Word 2010 and Word 2013 display the File tab of the ribbon and then click Options.)
  2. At the left side of the screen click Display. (See Figure 2.)
  3. Figure 2. The display options of the Word Options dialog box.

  4. Clear the Hidden Text check box if you don't want it displayed, select the check box if you do want it displayed. (If you don't want Hidden text displayed, make sure that Show All Formatting Marks is not checked. When it is checked, Hidden text is displayed as part of the "All" designation.)
  5. Clear the Print Hidden Text check box if you don't want it printed, select the check box if you do want it printed.
  6. Click on OK.

You should note that since there are two separate controls for Hidden text—one for screen display and one for printing. This means that you can control display and printing of the text independently from each other.

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (8056) applies to Microsoft Word 2007, 2010, and 2013. You can find a version of this tip for the older menu interface of Word here: Using Non-Printing Notes.

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. ...

MORE FROM ALLEN

Unable to Use Bulleting and Numbering

Got a document where you just can't get bullets and numbering to work right? It could be that your document is corrupted. ...

Discover More

Printing a Chart Across Multiple Pages

Wouldn't it be great to have your huge charts print out on multiple pieces of paper that you could then piece together? While ...

Discover More

Wrapping Text around a Graphic in a Text Box

Word allows you to wrap text around a graphic or around a text box, but it won't allow you to wrap text in a text box around ...

Discover More

Comprehensive VBA Guide Visual Basic for Applications (VBA) is the language used for writing macros in all Office programs. This complete guide shows both professionals and novices how to master VBA in order to customize the entire Office suite for their needs. Check out Mastering VBA for Office 2010 today!

More WordTips (ribbon)

Adjusting the Width of Characters

Need to adjust how your characters look horizontally? Word provides an easy way you can scale the horizontal appearance of ...

Discover More

Copying Character Formatting

If you are applying character formatting directly to text rather than using a character style you can copy it from one place ...

Discover More

Finding Missing Fonts

When you open documents that were created a long time ago on a system far, far away (sounds almost epic, doesn't it?), you ...

Discover More
Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in WordTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

View most recent newsletter.

Comments

If you would like to add an image to your comment (not an avatar, but an image to help in making the point of your comment), include the characters [{fig}] in your comment text. You’ll be prompted to upload your image when you submit the comment. Maximum image size is 8Mpixels. Images larger than 600px wide or 1000px tall will be reduced. Up to three images may be included in a comment. All images are subject to review. Commenting privileges may be curtailed if inappropriate images are posted.

What is 7 - 0?

2017-04-04 06:56:46

Norman Leaver

Thank you for the information. You have solved a long standing problem for me.


2014-12-18 16:30:36

RM

This isn't much use if your users have set their preferences differently -- as in not to display hidden text.


This Site

Got a version of Word that uses the ribbon interface (Word 2007 or later)? This site is for you! If you use an earlier version of Word, visit our WordTips site focusing on the menu interface.

Newest Tips
Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in WordTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

(Your e-mail address is not shared with anyone, ever.)

View the most recent newsletter.