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: Turning Off Highlighter Display.

Turning Off Highlighter Display

Written by Allen Wyatt (last updated April 16, 2022)
This tip applies to Word 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, Word in Microsoft 365, and 2021


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The highlighter tool in Word is helpful for when you are developing and editing your manuscript. There may be times, however, when you want to print a "clean" version of your manuscript, without the marks. You could, of course, remove all the highlighting marks and then reapply them after printing, but that would be very tedious. Instead, you can follow these steps to suppress the display of the highlighting you previously applied to text:

  1. Display the Word Options dialog box. (In Word 2007 click the Office button and then click Word Options. In Word 2010 and later versions click the File tab of the ribbon and then click Options.)
  2. At the left side of the dialog box click Display. (See Figure 1.)
  3. Figure 1. The Display options of the Word Options dialog box.

  4. Make sure the Show Highlighter Marks check box is cleared.
  5. Click on OK.

You will notice that the highlighting in your document immediately disappears, but the text remains. When you are again ready to view your highlighting marks, simply reverse the above process. If you print your document with the highlighting turned off, the marks will not appear on the printout either.

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (9830) 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: Turning Off Highlighter Display.

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 minus 1?

2022-11-11 08:42:50

Brooke

Thank you for this tip. My patience was growing thin as none of the search phrases I used yielded the desired how-to. I appreciate the clear instructions for resolution.


2022-04-16 11:39:16

Michael Kelly

This is a great tip!

First, it accomplishes the function as described.

But, it also illustrates the point of using the Highlighter function as opposed to using another way of changing the background color, such as with a style. Namely, to be able to suppress all uses of these background colors from the options dialog box. And, of course, a macro to toggle Highlighter marks can be added to the tool bar.

Thanks!


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