Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Word versions: 97, 2000, 2002, and 2003. If you are using a later version (Word 2007 or later), this tip may not work for you. For a version of this tip written specifically for later versions of Word, click here: Collecting Highlighted Text Selections.

Collecting Highlighted Text Selections

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated June 18, 2016)

Cindy has a lot of documents in which she's used the highlighter to mark different text selections. She's looking for a way to pull all those highlighted selections from the document and place them in their own document.

One way to do it is the old-fashioned manual method. You can display the first highlighted selection and select it with the mouse. Then display each subsequent highlighted selection and hold down the Ctrl key as you select the text with the mouse. You'll end up with a group of non-contiguous selections, and you can press Ctrl+C to copy them all to the Clipboard. Open a new document and press Ctrl+V, and the selections are in the new document.

There's an easier way, however. Follow these steps:

  1. Press Ctrl+F. Word displays the Find tab of the Find and Replace dialog box.
  2. Make sure there is nothing in the Find What box.
  3. If it is available, click the More button. Word expands the dialog box to include additional controls. (See Figure 1.)
  4. Figure 1. The Find tab of the Find and Replace dialog box.

  5. Click Format and choose Highlight. The word "Highlight" appears just beneath the Find What box.
  6. Select the Highlight All Items Found In check box. The Find Next button changes to Find All.
  7. Click Find All. All of the highlighted text in the document is selected.
  8. Press Ctrl+C. All of the selections are copied to the Clipboard.
  9. Open a new, blank document.
  10. Press Ctrl+V.

All of the highlighted text selections are now in the new document.

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (354) applies to Microsoft Word 97, 2000, 2002, and 2003. You can find a version of this tip for the ribbon interface of Word (Word 2007 and later) here: Collecting Highlighted Text Selections.

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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