by Allen Wyatt
(last updated October 20, 2018)
When James applies a highlight color (such as yellow) to a word, the background around that word turns yellow. When he then selects that highlighted word and types a new word over it, the new word appears, but the yellow highlighting remains. To get rid of the yellow highlighting, he must select the word again and "unhighlight" it. Since James has to do this hundreds of times a day, it gets old. He wonders if there is a way to make the highlighting disappear when selecting and typing over a word.
The short answer is that there is no easy way to do this. The reason, apparently, has to do with the your text and the highlighting being on different layers of the document. When you select some highlighted text and start typing, then you are affecting only the layer on which your text resides; the layer on which the highlighting resides is not affected.
There are a few workarounds you can try out, though. One is to simply press the Delete key after you select your text and before you start typing. This does affect both layers, and you can immediately begin typing without the lingering highlight.
A second approach is to use Word's shortcut key that controls highlighting: Ctrl+Alt+H. This shortcut toggles the highlight on whatever text is selected, so it is a quick way to turn the highlight on and off.
A third approach is great if you are using styles and the highlighted text doesn't have any explicit formatting (besides highlighting) attached to it. All you need to do after selecting the text is press Ctrl+Spacebar, which removes any explicit formatting, including the highlighting.
A fourth approach is to use a macro to remove the highlighting. The following will remove the highlighting from whatever text you have selected:
Sub RemoveHighlight1() Options.DefaultHighlightColorIndex = wdNoHighlight Selection.Range.HighlightColorIndex = wdNoHighlight End Sub
You can assign this macro to a shortcut key, which will make it easy to apply as you are typing along. In many respects, it isn't much different than the second approaching I suggesting, using the Ctrl+Alt+H shortcut. You could, though, modify the macro just a bit to make it even more valuable:
Sub RemoveHighlight2() Selection.Words(1).Select Options.DefaultHighlightColorIndex = wdNoHighlight Selection.Range.HighlightColorIndex = wdNoHighlight End Sub
Assuming you want to remove the highlighting from a word, all you need to do is position the insertion point within the word (no need to select the entire thing), run the macro, and then start typing. The macro selects the word and turns off highlighting, and since you start typing right after the macro is complete, you end up replacing whatever word you affected.
WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (13574) applies to Microsoft Word 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, and Word in Office 365.
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