Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Word versions: 2007 and 2010. 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: Getting Rid of Hidden Text in Many Files.

Getting Rid of Hidden Text in Many Files

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated January 27, 2017)

1

Word allows you to apply many attributes to text. For instance, you can make text bold, italic, or underlined; these are all text attributes. Another attribute applicable to text is that it can be made hidden. Hidden text is often used for comments and other text not intended for inclusion in the final document.

Removing hidden text from a document is rather easy—just use Word's Find and Replace feature. You search for text with the hidden attribute turned on, and replace it with nothing, as is done in these steps:

  1. Make sure that the hidden text is visible in the document. (In Word 2007 click the Office button, Word Options, Display, and make sure that the Hidden Text check box is selected. In Word 2010 display the File tab of the ribbon, click Options, Display, and select the same check box.)
  2. Press Ctrl+H to display the Replace tab of the Find and Replace dialog box.
  3. Click the More button, if it is available. The dialog box is expanded to show more options. (See Figure 1.)
  4. Figure 1. The Replace tab of the Find and Replace dialog box.

  5. Make sure both the Find What and Replace With boxes are empty.
  6. With the insertion point in the Replace With box, click the No Formatting button if it is available.
  7. With the insertion point in the Find What box, click Format and choose Font. Word displays the Find Font dialog box. (See Figure 2.)
  8. Figure 2. The Find Font dialog box.

  9. Make sure the Hidden check box has a check mark in it. (You may need to click the box twice to see an actual check mark.)
  10. Click OK to dismiss the Find Font dialog box.
  11. Click Replace All.

Lickety split, all the hidden text in the document is deleted. If you want to strip all the hidden text from a group of documents, then the only way to do it is with a macro. The macro basically needs to load each document, perform the replacements as detailed above, save the document, and close it. Any number of macros could be written to perform such a task (loading a document, processing it, and then saving it); some have been detailed in other issues of WordTips. If you need such a macro, consider this macro at the Word MVP Web site:

http://wordmvp.com/FAQs/MacrosVBA/BatchFR.htm

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (12463) applies to Microsoft Word 2007 and 2010. You can find a version of this tip for the older menu interface of Word here: Getting Rid of Hidden Text in Many Files.

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

Blocking the First Sentence from File Info

When you save a file, the information from the start of the file is saved in the properties for the document, and can be seen ...

Discover More

Creating a Split Page

In WordPerfect terminology, a split page allows you to put information side-by-side on opposite halves of the page. If you ...

Discover More

Understanding Shortcuts

One way of optimizing your user interface is through the use of shortcuts. This tip provides a brief overview of what ...

Discover More

The First and Last Word on Word! Bestselling For Dummies author Dan Gookin puts his usual fun and friendly candor back to work to show you how to navigate Word 2013. Spend more time working and less time trying to figure it all out! Check out Word 2013 For Dummies today!

More WordTips (ribbon)

Keyboard Control of the Find and Replace Dialog Box

Hate to take your hands off the keyboard? This tip explains how you can use the keyboard to work with the Find and Replace ...

Discover More

Replacing a Colon in a Sequence

Sometimes you'll run across the need to replace a very specific sequence of characters in your document. It is for these ...

Discover More

Finding and Replacing Text Boxes

The Find and Replace capabilities of Word are very powerful, but they still come up a bit short when searching for some ...

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 7 + 6?

2016-07-07 15:47:13

Henry Noble

To me it seems easier to go to File > Info > Prepare for Sharing, and then let Word inspect for hidden text, along with other elements you might not want included in a document that will given to others.


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.