Microsoft Word 2016 Tutorial - Show Hide Text in Word Document

When using Microsoft Word, sometimes you may be in a situation, when you don’t need to print or view certain parts of your document, but you don’t want to delete them either. This is the time, when you can use Show / Hide Text feature of Microsoft Word.

For instance, in this Standard Feed file, I need to print two versions of this document. The first copy of print out will be as it is, but for the second copy, I don’t need these Terms and Conditions lines to be printed. But I don’t want to delete them either. So what I will do is to hide those text lines, instead of deleting them. So, let’s get started and learn, how to hide and unhide text, and how to print a document with and without the hidden text.
First, select that particular text area that you wish to hide. Now, right-click on the selected text, and then click Font from the context menu. From the Font window, under Effects section, make a check mark on Hidden, and then press OK. That’s it. The selected text is now no longer be visible in your document, and if you see the Print Preview of this document, you can notice that particular text is also not visible in the Print Preview window, and will not be printed either.

So you can go and print one version of this document, without the hidden text. But for the second print copy, where you need to print the hidden text as well, then you can do this either by two ways. The first method is, you can change the printing options alone, and tell Word to print the hidden text as well, and you will no longer be require to unhide the text before printing. It is useful when you only need to print the hidden text for print out only, but what the text remain hidden in the document itself.

The second method is, as you may have already guessed, is unhiding the hidden text, and then take the print out. So in both cases, choice is yours. Let’s see the first method, where I want to print the hidden text, without actually unhide it. To do this, go to Print dialog box, either by pressing Control + P keyboard shortcut, or you can click the File menu, and then click Print. From the Print window, click Page Setup link. Select the Paper tab, and then click Print Options button from the bottom right corner.

Make sure Display is selected from the left side pane, and from the Printing Options section, make a check mark on, Print Hidden Text. Press the OK button. You can instantly see that the hidden text is now visible in the Preview Pane with the dotted lines underneath. So this way, you can directly print the hidden text, if you don’t want to unhide the text before.

But when you actually need to unhide the hidden text, then you can also do this by two ways. Do note that, to unhide the text, you require to select the above and below area of the hidden text, but you may not actually remember, or forgot that, where the hidden text was. So what you can do is to select the entire document, then right-click and choose Font. You can notice that, the Hidden option now has a black square instead of a check mark. This is because you selected hidden and non-hidden area of the document. Click the Hidden option once, and it will change into a check mark, and click it again to uncheck and apply the changes.

The only problem unhiding text with this method is, you may be unhiding all the hidden text, even if you don’t want to. Like, if you had made hidden separate areas of your document, then using this technique will unhide all of them, even if you only want to unhide specific text.

So how you can unhide a specific hidden area?

For this, you need to turn on another Microsoft Word feature, called Show / Hide, and it is available on Home tab, under Paragraph section. Click this button once, and it will start showing you all the paragraph marks in your document, including the hidden text with dotted lines underneath.

So now, to unhide a specific hidden text area, now you have the option to select that particular hidden text alone, and can then unhide that particular text.


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