How to View Hidden Text in Word Documents

Question: I sent a MS Word document for review to a colleague and he tells me that he could see certain blocks of text that shouldn’t be in my document. I opened my Word file and I cannot see them. But, they are visible in my colleagues computer and have dotted line underneath. It looks like the text is hidden for me. How do I view hidden text in Word?

How to View Hidden Text in Word Documents

Yes, the scenario you have mentioned is caused by hidden text in Word which is invisible to you but visible in your colleague’s computer. Hidden text is usually underlined with a dotted line as shown below.

hidden text in word example

Unwanted hidden text can sneak into a document due to various reasons, including working with an older version of a Word document and modifying a document which has tracked changes on. If you are in this situation and need to get rid of the hidden text, follow these steps:

  • Press CTRL+* or click on the Paragraph icon to enable show paragraph marks and other hidden formatting symbols.
  • You will now be able to see the hidden block of text(s) underlined with a dotted line.
  • Highlight the unwanted hidden text and delete them.
  • If you wish to keep the hidden text and make it visible, highlight the text and press CTRL+D to open the Font dialog box.
  • Click on the Hidden checkbox to uncheck it.
  • Click OK. The hidden text will now become visible.

hidden text in word font dialog box

In Contrast, if you wish to hide certain blocks of text in Word, you would be doing the following:

Highlight the desired text and press CTRL+D. Check the Hidden box, click Ok and the text will now become hidden. If you ever forget that you hid text in your document, simply show the paragraph marks to display the text.

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