Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Desperately Seeking Hidden Text...Part 1

I like to hide text in my documents. There I've said it! It's out there!

I hide text because I have a terrible memory. For example, I might add the path to a file in the footer of a document and then hide the text. When I send the document to someone and then get it back, I might or might not want to overwrite my original file if the file name is the same. If I don't want to overwrite the file, I have to be able to find the original file. I can reveal the file path in the footer and get a memory boost on where I tucked that file away.

Another instance when I might hide text is when I write a note to myself that I don't want other readers to see.

The only time that a reader knows the hidden text is there is if they know how to reveal it...and not many people know how to reveal it.

Creating Hidden Text
  1. Open a Word document with text in it.
  2. Select some text that you want to hide.
  3. Open the Font dialog.
    --Word 2007/2010, go to the Home tab, locate the Font group, click the drop-down arrow (dialog launcher) in the lower right of the group box.
    --Word 2003, select Format, and then Font.
    The Font dialog appears.
  4. In the Effects group, click the option Hidden, and then click OK. The text disappears.
Revealing Hidden Text
  • Select the area that the hidden text is in and repeat the steps above to display the Font dialog and remove the check mark from the dialog. Select OK and the text is visible again. The check box might have a square in it, which indicates that some of the selected text has Hidden applied while other selected text does not have the attribute applied.
  • Select the area that the hidden text is in, hold down the Ctrl key, and press the spacebar once. The text is visible again because you removed local formatting. Long time readers of this blog will remember me going on and on about local formatting versus global formatting. If you want to review, see  Global Changes vs. Local Changes.
  •  Select the Show/Hide button. See Hidden Word Codes for more information on the button. The text simply appears. If you click the Show/Hide button again (it's a toggle like a light switch with on/off positions), the text disappears again. Casual users usually don't know about the Show/Hide button and so they won't know about the hidden text using it can reveal.
Next Post
I'll continue talking about what you can do with hidden text.

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