Find and remove hidden text in Word

Applies to
Microsoft Word 2002

Before you distribute a Word document to other people, you may want to look for items with the following attributes to make sure that you're not sharing more information than you realize.

Finding text formatted with the hidden text effect

To show text with the hidden text effect, click Show/Hide on the Standard toolbar. When you show hidden text, it will resemble the following:

Text formatted with hidden text attribute

1 Hidden text is marked with a dotted underline

ShowQuickly remove all text with the hidden text effect

  1. On the Edit menu, click Find, and click the Replace tab.
  2. Click More to display all of the search options.
  3. With the insertion point in the Find what box, click Format, and then click Font.
  4. Click the Font tab, and under Effects, select the Hidden check box. Leave the Find what and Replace with boxes blank.

Word will select the first portion of text that is formatted with the hidden text attribute.

  1. To delete the text, click Replace All.

Text in field codes

Fields are used as placeholders for data that might change in a document, and for creating form letters and labels in mail-merge documents.

Word inserts fields when you use particular commands, such as the Date and Time command on the Insert menu. You can also manually insert your own fields by using the Field command on the Insert menu. If fields have been manually inserted into your document, they may contain text that you don't necessarily want to share with others.

To locate fields in your document, press F11 or SHIFT+F11. You can switch between the field codes and their results to see if the field codes contain text that you don't want to share. To delete the text inside a field code, select the text and press DELETE.

 Note   You may affect the document's contents when you remove fields. For example, removing the table of contents field from a document will remove the table of contents from the document.

ShowSwitch between field codes and results

Do one of the following:

  • To show or hide the field code for a specific field, click the field or the field results, and then press SHIFT+F9.
  • To show or hide field codes for all fields in the document, press ALT+F9.