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: Highlighting Information Using Shading.

Highlighting Information Using Shading

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated February 15, 2014)

Word provides a way you can shade the information in your document. This shading can be added in conjunction with any border you may specify for the paragraph. Word allows you to precisely control the degree of shading, as well. To add shading to a paragraph, follow these steps:

  1. Position the insertion point in the paragraph that you want to shade.
  2. Make sure that the Home tab is selected for the ribbon.
  3. In the Paragraph group, click the down-arrow to the right of the Shading tool. (This tool looks like a tilted paint bucket, spilling paint to the right.) Word displays a shading palette.
  4. Select one of the theme colors at the top of the palette. There are ten colors, and each option under the colors represents a different percentage of shading for that color.

You should understand that highlighting text using the shading settings is different than highlighting text using the highlighter tool. In many ways I think that using shading is simpler and more flexible. Why? Because you can apply the shading technique to styles and create a character style that incorporates shading. You can then apply the character style to anything you need shaded, and you can easily remove the style, search for the style, or replace the style with some other formatting. These things are harder to do with highlighting that is added through the use of the highlighting tool.

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (8711) applies to Microsoft Word 2007, 2010, and 2013. You can find a version of this tip for the older menu interface of Word here: Highlighting Information Using Shading.

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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