Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Word versions: 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, and Word in Office 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: Collecting Highlighted Text Selections.

Collecting Highlighted Text Selections

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated April 17, 2021)

2

Cindy has a lot of documents in which she's used the highlighter to mark different text selections. She's looking for a way to pull all those highlighted selections from the document and place them in their own document.

One way to do it is the old-fashioned manual method. You can display the first highlighted selection and select it with the mouse. Then display each subsequent highlighted selection and hold down the Ctrl key as you select the text with the mouse. You'll end up with a group of non-contiguous selections, and you can press Ctrl+C to copy them all to the Clipboard. Open a new document and press Ctrl+V, and the selections are in the new document.

There's an easier way, however. Follow these steps:

  1. If you are using Word 2007, press Ctrl+F. Word displays the Find tab of the Find and Replace dialog box. If you are using Word 2010 or a later version, press Ctrl+H to display the Find and Replace dialog box, then choose the Find tab.
  2. Make sure there is nothing in the Find What box.
  3. If it is available, click the More button. Word expands the dialog box to include additional controls. (See Figure 1.)
  4. Figure 1. The expanded Find tab of the Find and Replace dialog box.

  5. Click Format and choose Highlight. The word "Highlight" appears just beneath the Find What box.
  6. Make sure the Highlight All Items Found check box is selected.
  7. Using the drop-down list to the right of the Highlight All Items Found checkbox, choose Main Document.
  8. Click Find All. Word selects all the highlighted text in the main document and reports, in the dialog box, how many matches were found.
  9. Click the Close button. The Find and Replace dialog box is closed, but the highlighted selections in the document are still selected.
  10. Press Ctrl+C. All of the highlighted selections are copied to the Clipboard.
  11. Open a new, blank document.
  12. Press Ctrl+V.

All of the highlighted text selections are now in the new document.

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (9232) applies to Microsoft Word 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, and Word in Office 365. You can find a version of this tip for the older menu interface of Word here: Collecting Highlighted Text Selections.

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 two less than 8?

2021-04-17 22:40:17

Tomek Dluzniewski

@Jane: In my version of Word (MS 365 Family under Win.10) I also did not find "Highlight All Items Found checkbox". There is "Highlight All" under "Reading Highlight", but this just highlights the text found, which is already highlighted, so it is even not noticeable. It does not select anything.

However, under "Find in" there is an option "Main Document", which does what this tip is about. I am attaching a screenshot of the Find and Replace dialog box from my machine. (see Figure 1 below)

Note: The copied text, if just pasted with Ctrl-V will normally be highlighted as it was in the source document. You may want to use other paste options either from the Ribbon or, after pasting, by clicking on a small Paste-Options icon that pops up at the end of the pasted text.

@Jane: Please let me know if it worked for you.

Figure 1. 


2021-04-17 10:28:20

Jane Lawson

In my version of Word 2016 I can find no "Highlight All Items Found" check box. All get is the "Format: Highlight" beneath the (empty) "Find What" box. Has anyone else had this problem and found a solution?


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