Displaying Hidden Text in Microsoft Word (step-by-step instructions for Windows and Mac)

There could be a number of reasons that you need to view Hidden Text in Microsoft Word for Windows for Mac.

For instance, here at BIM, when embedding indexes in Microsoft Word, our indexers cannot see the index tags unless we are able to view Hidden Text.

Here is how to turn on Hidden Text in various versions of Microsoft Word, in order from newest to oldest:

How to display Hidden Text in Microsoft Word 2010:

  1. Click on the File ribbon.
  2. Choose “Options” from the selections along the left of the screen.
  3. The Word Options window appears. Click on the Display option.
  4. In the second group of checkboxes, click on the checkbox to the left of “Hidden text
  5. Click on the OK button at the bottom of the Word Options window. You will not notice any visible difference at this point if your file does not currently contain any hidden text (such as index tags), but once you insert them, you’ll be able to see them.

 How to display Hidden Text in Microsoft Word 2007:

  1. Click on the Office button, located at the top left-hand corner of the program.
  2. Then click on the Word Options button at the bottom of the window that appears.
  3. Next, click on the Display option.
  4. Now select the Hidden text checkbox.
  5. Click OK. You will not notice any visible difference at this point if your file does not currently contain any hidden text (such as index tags), but once you insert them, you’ll be able to see them.

 How to display Hidden Text in Microsoft Word 2003:

  1. Click on the Tools menu.
  2. Click the Options item.
  3. The Option window will appear. Select the View tab, if it is not already selected.
  4. In the Formatting marks section, click the Hidden text checkbox.
  5. Click the OK button at the bottom of the Options window. You will not notice any visible difference at this point if your file does not currently contain any hidden text (such as index tags), but once you insert them, you’ll be able to see them.

How to display Hidden Text in Microsoft Word 2004, 2008 and 2011 for Mac:

  1. Click on the Word menu on the Toolbar.
  2. Choose the Preferences option.
  3. The Word Preferences window will appear. In the Authoring and Proofing Tools section, click on the View icon.
  4. In the Nonprinting characters section of the View window, click on the checkbox to the left of “Hidden text”.
  5. Click on the OK button at the bottom of the View window. You will not notice any visible difference at this point if your file does not currently contain any hidden text (such as index tags), but once you insert them, you’ll be able to see them.

After you have turned on Hidden Text, it should stay turned on even if close files and reopen them later. However, if you find that Hidden Text is not being displayed at any time, just go through the steps above again.

Comments

  1. Thanks Kevin! This was extremely helpful!

  2. I have the latest Word (2015 for MAC) and I can no longer find the Options button to print hidden text. Help

  3. I am using word 2010 for Mac. I don’t see any Option menu and Preferences doesn’t lead to the options I want.

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  6. I’m trying to hide the XE fields so the pagination is the same whether they are displayed or not. (Word 2106). I don’t know how to do this.

  7. I have followed up to pressing OK. But there is no option for OK. How do I fix this. There is something printing on my document which isn’t on screen.

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