Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Word versions: 2007, 2010, 2013, and 2016. 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: Replacing Hidden Text.

Replacing Hidden Text

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated March 19, 2016)

If you have a document full of hidden text, you may wonder how to convert all that text so it is non-hidden. The answer is to use Word's Find and Replace feature. Follow these steps:

  1. Press Ctrl+Home to jump to the beginning of the document. (This isn't technically necessary, but makes finding and replacing just a bit easier.)
  2. Press Ctrl+H. Word displays the Replace tab of the Find and Replace dialog box.
  3. Click the More button, if it is available. (See Figure 1.)
  4. Figure 1. The Replace tab of the Find and Replace dialog box.

  5. Make sure there is nothing in the Find What box, and that the insertion point is in the box.
  6. If the No Formatting button is available, click it.
  7. Click the Format button and choose Font. Word displays the Find Font dialog box. (See Figure 2.)
  8. Figure 2. The Find Font dialog box.

  9. Click the Hidden check box. A check mark should appear in the check box. (If a check mark doesn't appear, keep clicking the check box until one does.)
  10. Click OK. The Find Font dialog box disappears, and the word "Hidden" appears beneath the Find What box.
  11. Make sure there is nothing in the Replace With box, and that the insertion point is in the box.
  12. If the No Formatting button is available, click it.
  13. Click the Format button and choose Font. Word displays the Replace Font dialog box.
  14. Click the Hidden check box twice. The check box should be empty. (If it is not empty, keep clicking the check box until it is.)
  15. Click OK. The Replace Font dialog box disappears, and the words "Not Hidden" appear beneath the Replace With box.
  16. Click Replace All.

This series of steps finds all the text in the document that has the Hidden attribute set. It then turns off the attribute, so that none of your text is hidden any more.

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (12252) applies to Microsoft Word 2007, 2010, 2013, and 2016. You can find a version of this tip for the older menu interface of Word here: Replacing Hidden Text.

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

Field Calculations in Locked Forms

When adding form fields to a document, you may want some of the fields to be automatically calculated from other fields. If ...

Discover More

Changing Fonts in Data Validation Drop-Down Lists

The data validation capabilities of Excel allow you to easily create drop-down lists showing what data is acceptable for a ...

Discover More

Placing Numbers Over Other Numbers

Sometimes you need to create text that isn't as "linear" as you might expect. For instance, you may need to put some text ...

Discover More

Create Custom Apps with VBA! Discover how to extend the capabilities of Office 2013 (Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, and Access) with VBA programming, using it for writing macros, automating Office applications, and creating custom applications. Check out Mastering VBA for Office 2013 today!

More WordTips (ribbon)

Searching for Text that Doesn't End a Paragraph

The Find and Replace capabilities of Word are very powerful, particularly if you are using wildcards in your search. Here's ...

Discover More

Getting Rid of Hidden Text in Many Files

Hidden text is a great boon if you want to make sure something doesn't show up on the screen or on a printout. If you want to ...

Discover More

Special Differences when Searching

Word includes two different search engines. Which search engine you choose to use will dictate what Word shows as available ...

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 6 + 0?

There are currently no comments for this tip. (Be the first to leave your comment—just use the simple form above!)


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.