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: Replacing Hidden Text.

Replacing Hidden Text

Written by Allen Wyatt (last updated February 18, 2023)
This tip applies to Word 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, Word in Microsoft 365, and 2021


1

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, 2016, 2019, Word in Microsoft 365, and 2021. 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. ...

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What is seven more than 9?

2023-02-18 06:15:59

Tom

Hi Allen,
Thanks for Word Tips - I always find them interesting, even if I am not really at the level to use a lot of them. The reversing hidden text activity seemed a bit tricky, so I had a bit of a play. I seem to be able to do it by Ctrl A, then open Font; all the Effects boxes are blue with a white dash inside, not sure what that means, but if you click twice they go to a white box, which is what you want for all of them, including Hidden. Then OK and that's it. Of course, if you only want to unhide some stuff, a variant of your method may be superior, depending if you can actually see what you are unhiding in advance. I use Word 2019.
Cheers


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