How to see/show a hidden text in a Word document

Word 365
When you work with someone's else document it is possible to have a hidden text in it. On the other hand, your own document can contain a hidden text for some reasons.

To show a hidden text in the document, do one of the following:

  • To show all formatting marks in the document, not only a hidden text, click on the Show/Hide ¶ button (or press Ctrl+* or Ctrl+Shift+8):
    Show/Hide ¶ button in Word 2016

So, you will see a lot of different formatting marks, including a hidden text (see How to show/hide nonprintable symbols in a Word document for more details):

Text with different formatting in Word 2016
  • To show only hidden text in the document, do the following:

       1.   On the File tab, click the Options button:

    Options in Word 2016

       2.   In the Word Options dialog box, open the Display tab and then check the Hidden text option:

    Display tab in Word Options 2016

The hidden text in the document will be shown with a dotted underline:

Display hidden text only in Word 2016

Note: Even if you see a hidden text in the Word document, you can have a problem with printing this hidden text. See How to print a hidden text in a Word document.

See also this tip in French: Comment voir / afficher un texte masqué dans un document Word.

If you have any questions or suggestions, please feel free to ask OfficeToolTips team.