Thursday, June 28, 2012

Desperately Seeking Hidden Text...Part 2

If you plan to use hidden text all the time, you can make selections that cause all hidden text in a document to appear when you open the document. The setting is personal in that it works in your personal copy of Word. If readers of your document do not have the option turned on, they won't see the hidden text.

Selecting the Option in Word 2007/2010
  1. Open Word Options.
    --Word 2010: Click File, and then Options.
    --Word 2007: Click the Office Button, and then click the Word Options button.
    --Word 2003: Click Tools, and then Options. On the View tab, locate the Formatting marks group. 
  2. Click the Hidden text check box, and then click OK. Hidden text will appear automatically in any document you open. 

The Less Obvious Option--or--the Weasel move...
If you have text that you absolutely do not want anyone to read, here's an option. Select the text and change the font color to white (or whatever the background color is) so that the text simply can't be distinguished from the background.
  1. Highlight the text. 
  2. 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
  3. Click the drop-down arrow in the Font color field to display the color palette.
  4. Pick white as the color, and then click OK
If you pick text in the middle of a paragraph, the text will simply disappear but the space for the text will remain. For anyone who knows this trick, it's a hint to them to simply highlight the area, open the Font dialog and pick a color to display the text. So, if you decide to use this method, you might want to make sure you have the text on a line by itself or in an out of the way place like a footer or a header. 

I'll ponder for a while to see if I remember any more about using hidden text. Like so many things with Word, it's the little things that can matter at the oddest of moments. But, if you've played with the option, you have a better chance of remembering that it's there when you need it. 

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