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: Using the Highlighter.

Using the Highlighter

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated March 21, 2015)

Word includes a tool that allows you to highlight your text, much the same way that you can use a highlighter pen or marker on printed material. You can highlight text in your document by clicking on the Highlight tool, located in the Font group on the Home tab of the ribbon. Click the tool and then select the text you want highlighted. The text is shown as if it had been marked with a highlighter.

When you are done marking text with the highlighter, you turn it off by again clicking your mouse on the Highlight tool or by pressing the Esc key. You can also apply highlighter marks to your text by first selecting the text and then clicking your mouse on the Highlight tool.

Highlighting doesn't just appear on-screen, either. The highlights also appear on your printouts. If you are using a monochrome printer, then the highlights appear as various shades of gray. If you are using a color printer, then the highlights appear in their proper color.

At some point you will probably want to remove the highlighting from your text. To do this, simply select the text you previously highlighted and then click your mouse on the Highlight tool. The marks are removed, and your text again appears normal.

You can also change the color with which you highlight text by using the drop-down arrow at the right side of the Highlight tool. Word allows you to select fifteen different colors for highlighting.

There is one potential gotcha to be aware of when changing the highlighting color. Let's say that you highlight some text in yellow (the default color) and that you later highlight some text in blue by changing the highlighter color as just described. If you then go back and select the yellow-highlighted text and click the Highlight tool, the highlighting isn't removed; it is, instead, changed to blue.

Clicking the Highlight tool on previously highlighted text only removes the highlight if the color of the tool is the same color as was used to highlight the text. In such a case you can remove the highlighting by using the drop-down list and choosing "None" as the 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 (9860) applies to Microsoft Word 2007, 2010, and 2013. You can find a version of this tip for the older menu interface of Word here: Using the Highlighter.

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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