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: Getting Rid of Hidden Text in Many Files.

Getting Rid of Hidden Text in Many Files

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated January 27, 2017)

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. (Choose Tools | Options | View tab and make sure the Hidden Text check box is selected.)
  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 (6398) 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: 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

Understanding the Drawing Canvas

Need to keep your drawing shapes together in one place? The drawing canvas may be exactly what you are looking for.

Discover More

Specifying How Changes are Marked

If you want to configure how Word displays changes in your document, you may be at a loss as to where to start. This tip ...

Discover More

Turning Off Error Checking

A little green triangle in the corner of a cell means that Excel thinks there is an error with the cell contents. If ...

Discover More

The First and Last Word on Word! Bestselling For Dummies author Dan Gookin puts his usual fun and friendly candor back to work to show you how to navigate Word 2013. Spend more time working and less time trying to figure it all out! Check out Word 2013 For Dummies today!

More WordTips (menu)

Setting a Default Document Format

Word allows you to save your documents in a variety of different formats. You can specify the format when you actually ...

Discover More

Saving in MS-DOS Text Mode

Over the years Microsoft has made changes in Word. One change is to the import and export filters provided with the ...

Discover More

Determining if a Document is Corrupt

Think you might have a corrupt document? There is no easy way to tell if this is the case, but there are some things you ...

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 2 + 9?

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 menu interface (Word 97, Word 2000, Word 2002, or Word 2003)? This site is for you! If you use a later version of Word, visit our WordTips site focusing on the ribbon 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.