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How to Use MS Word “Hidden Text” to Create Two Versions of the Same Document

© Ugur Akinci

Both MS Word 2007 and 2010 have a feature that is ideal to create two different versions of the same document. By using the “hidden text” feature, you can easily accomplish that task.

CAUTION: MS Word documents created with the hidden text will NOT print the hidden text. So if you would like to have two PRINTED versions of the same document, this method is not for you. That’s the only drawback of this method.

For example, let’s say you have a PAINTER’S HANDBOOK that is written for the employees of a house painting company. Let’s also say that you’d like your employees to ask certain questions when they are preparing the house for the paint job. However, you do not want the customers to see these questions.

So how can you insert such questions into the document so that they would be visible only to your employees but not print with the copy handed out to the customers?

Follow these steps:

1) Open the MS Word document in question:

MS Word Insert HIDDEN TEXT 1

2) Type in your questions (or the “hidden text”). Select the text. Then click the lower-right corner of the FONT group on the HOME tab to display the Font Dialog Box:

MS Word Insert HIDDEN TEXT 2

3) Click the HIDDEN check-box.

Now the hidden text will be visible only when you click the Show/Hide toggle button on the ribbon:

MS Word Insert HIDDEN TEXT 3


You can use this same method for many other applications. For example, if you are a teacher, you can insert LECTURE NOTES for yourself that will not be visible in the printed handouts. However, if you distribute the electronic copies of your MS Word document, students would be able to see your notes by toggling them on.

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