Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Word versions: 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, Word in Microsoft 365, and 2021. 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: Changing the Highlighting Color.

Changing the Highlighting Color

Written by Allen Wyatt (last updated May 21, 2022)
This tip applies to Word 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, Word in Microsoft 365, and 2021


The Highlight tool is very helpful when you want to draw attention to different areas of a document. The highlighter works in much the same way that a highlighter pen works with a paper document. The default color used for the highlighter is yellow, but this can be easily changed to any of 14 other colors. This is particularly helpful if you are using a color printer and some colors print better than others.

You change the color of your highlighting by displaying the Home tab of the ribbon and then clicking the down arrow at the right of the Highlight tool (Word 2007) or the Text Highlight Color tool (later versions of Word) in the Font group. You can then select from any of 15 different colors for your highlighting.

When you change the highlight color, it does not affect any highlighting you have already done in the document. Old highlighting remains the old color; only new highlighting assumes the new color.

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (9384) applies to Microsoft Word 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, Word in Microsoft 365, and 2021. You can find a version of this tip for the older menu interface of Word here: Changing the Highlighting Color.

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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