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: Reversing Type.

Reversing Type

Written by Allen Wyatt (last updated February 17, 2024)
This tip applies to Word 97, 2000, 2002, and 2003


There may be a time when you want to "reverse" the type in a particular paragraph. For instance, you may want the paragraph to show as white text on a black background. This can be done easily using either menus or toolbars. If you want to do it in one easy step, however, you can use this VBA macro:

Sub Reverse()
    Selection.StartOf Unit:=wdParagraph, Extend:=wdMove
    Selection.MoveEnd Unit:=wdParagraph
    Selection.ParagraphFormat.Shading.BackgroundPatternColorIndex = wdBlack
    Selection.Font.ColorIndex = wdWhite
End Sub

All you need to do is place the insertion point somewhere within the paragraph, and then run the macro. As with most any macro, you can assign it to a toolbar button or a shortcut key so you can use it quickly.

Of course, the only real reason to use a macro such as this is if you don't use styles and templates for your documents. If you do, then you should accomplish the same functionality by simply defining a style that shows the paragraph in "reverse" type. Whenever you apply the style, the paragraph appears in the desired format.

Note:

If you would like to know how to use the macros described on this page (or on any other page on the WordTips sites), I've prepared a special page that includes helpful information. Click here to open that special page in a new browser tab.

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (612) 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: Reversing Type.

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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