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: Getting Rid of Hidden Text in Many Files.

Getting Rid of Hidden Text in Many Files

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated January 20, 2018)

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 or a later version 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, 2010, 2013, and 2016. 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

Auto-incrementing Form Fields

Templates are a great way to create new documents because they act as intricate patterns to what those new documents ...

Discover More

Creating a Table of Contents from TOC Fields

If you inserted a bunch of TOC fields in your document, you can create your table of contents quite easily based on those ...

Discover More

Changing Font Face and Size Conditionally

Conditional formatting does not allow you to change the typeface and font size used in a cell. You can write your own ...

Discover More

Learning Made Easy! Quickly teach yourself how to format, publish, and share your content using Word 2013. With Step by Step, you set the pace, building and practicing the skills you need, just when you need them! Check out Microsoft Word 2013 Step by Step today!

More WordTips (ribbon)

Special Differences when Searching

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

Discover More

Copying Found Items to a New Document

Word allows you to use its searching capabilities to easily find multiple items in a document. What if you want to copy ...

Discover More

Removing HTTP from URLs

Having problems when it comes to replacing information in URLs? You're not the only one; it can be confusing making mass ...

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 nine minus 4?

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.