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: Collecting Highlighted Text Selections.

Collecting Highlighted Text Selections

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated January 31, 2015)

9

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 Word 2013, 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. Click the Find In drop-down list and choose Main Document.
  7. Press Esc to close the Find and Replace dialog box.
  8. Press Ctrl+C. All of the selections are copied to the Clipboard.
  9. Open a new, blank document.
  10. 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, and 2013. 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. ...

MORE FROM ALLEN

Drawing a Curve

Ever wonder how to add a curved line to your document? With a little practice, adding curves is simple. Here's how.

Discover More

Printing Multiple Label Copies when Merging

Need to print more than one copy of mail-merge labels? There are a number of different approaches you can take to getting ...

Discover More

Getting Rid of the Ctrl+Click Message

When you add a hyperlink to a document, you can later click that link to display whatever is linked to. Well, you ...

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)

Quickly Moving Text with the Mouse

Drag-and-drop editing is a handy feature when you love to use the mouse. There are two ways you can move text using the ...

Discover More

Making Highlighting Disappear when Typing

Select a highlighted word or phrase and start typing, and Word maintains the highlighting on what you enter. If this ...

Discover More

Selecting an Entire Paragraph

Paragraphs are an elemental building block for documents. This tip explains the different ways you can select entire ...

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 6Mpixels. 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 three more than 5?

2019-04-10 09:08:20

Anthony Maine

Is there a way to make this a macro? I tried recording the steps, but when I run the recorded macro, I get the message that nothing was copied to the clipboard.


2018-06-26 00:34:04

Jitendra Kumar Meher

Thanks a lot. Big hug from India.


2017-01-24 17:36:07

Paul

Thank you very much from France !


2017-01-02 07:02:18

Akshay

Thank you... this is exactly I was looking for.


2015-07-12 16:40:49

Herme Saez

Wow, so useful!!! Thanks so much for posting! :)


2015-02-07 20:57:21

TD Toler

Neat trick. However, it pastes the text in reverse order (at least it does this with my settings). You can repeat the operation to put the text back in the original order.

When there were two strings of highlighted text in the same paragraph in the original, these two strings were in separate paragraphs when pasted.

Like Martyn, I also have Word 2010 but I do not need to omit step 6


2015-02-02 10:01:07

Pat Unser

Great tip! Also, thank you Martyn - your fine-tuning worked like a charm.


2015-02-02 00:02:45

shishpal singh

Great command


2015-01-31 04:51:17

Martyn Crawford

Great tip, but I found (in Word 2010) that I needed to omit step 6 and to click the main document (i.e. not close the dialogue box), otherwise the selection did not make it onto the clipboard.


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.