Tip of the week # 475
7 February 2016

Make text look like it was marked with a highlighter pen (Word and Outlook) *

The other day somebody asked me to help him find anything that was formatted in the colour red in an email message he had received. The sender was unaware that the person was colour blind and that he could not see the difference between the text formatted in black and that in the colour red. As red was used to emphasize what needed to be amended, it was crucial for him to find it.

Apparently colour blindness (colour vision deficiency, or CVD) affects approximately 1 in 12 men (8%) and 1 in 200 women in the world, so today's tip is how to make text look like it was marked with a highlighter pen, which the person said would be easy to spot.

Here's how:

  1. Select the text you want to highlight. (You might want to have another look at tip_50.html and tip_51.html for tricks and shortcuts for selecting blocks of text.)
  2. On the Home tab, in the Font group, click on the Text Highlight Color button, not its drop-down arrow. (In Outlook the Text Highlight Color button can be found in the Basic Text group on the Message tab.)

You can also highlight existing text by clicking on the Text Highlight Color button and by dragging the mouse pointer over the text. Click the button again or press the Escape button on your keyboard to turn the highlighter attribute off.

See tip 401 (tip_401.php) for help how to find (and replace) highlighted text in Word. Tip 108 (tip_108.html) explains how to find text in an email message.

* Unless stated otherwise, these tips were written for Microsoft Office 2010.