Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Word versions: 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, and Word in Microsoft 365. 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: Printing without Headings.

Printing without Headings

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated July 17, 2021)

Lyle uses Word to create essays by putting together an outline and then developing the body of the essay based on the outline. When he is finished with the essay, the outline is important to him, but he does not consider it a part of the essay. He is wondering how he can print the essay without the outline, which consists of the various headings in the document.

There are a couple of ways that you can print your essay without the headings. One way is to simply delete the headings on the copy you want to print. This is relatively easy for a short document with few headings, and only mildly more complicated if you have a longer document with many headings. (In which case you can use Find and Replace to delete the headings.) When through printing, simply close the document without saving, and your on-disk version (the last one you saved) still has the headings in place. Or for the more cautious, start by making a copy and doing the deletions in the copy.

Another option is to format the headings so that they are white. White text printed on white paper means that they will be invisible on the printed page, but there will still be vertical space left in the document to indicate where the headings really are.

The best solution, by far, is to use the Hidden attribute for your headings. If there are relatively few headings to modify simply select the headings (or display the style definition for your headings) and press Ctrl+D. Word displays the Font dialog box and you can select the Hidden check box. When you close the dialog box, the attribute is applied to the headings.

With the Hidden attribute set, there are two ways you can instruct Word to treat the text: You can control whether hidden text is displayed on-screen, and you can control whether it is printed. These settings are separate from each other, and in this case, you probably want the headings to be visible on-screen, but invisible when printing. Follow these steps for both versions:

  1. Display the Word Options dialog box. (In Word 2007 click the Office button and then click Word Options. In Word 2010 or later versions, display the File tab of the ribbon and then click Options.)
  2. Select the Display option at the left of the dialog box. (See Figure 1.)
  3. Figure 1. The Display options of the Word Options dialog box.

  4. Make sure that either the Hidden Text check box or the Show All Formatting Marks check box is selected. Either of these settings will make sure the hidden text appears on-screen.
  5. In the Printing Options section, make sure the Print Hidden Text check box is cleared. This setting controls whether hidden text is printed or not.
  6. Click OK to close the Word Options dialog box.

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (8620) applies to Microsoft Word 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, and Word in Microsoft 365. You can find a version of this tip for the older menu interface of Word here: Printing without Headings.

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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