Insert hidden text in Word

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Q. I’m writing a family history with my granddaughter, so we’re continually sending Word files back and forth. We’ve been inserting our comments in different colored text, but then when we print pages, those comments print with the page. Is there any way to insert comments so they won’t appear in print?

A. Yes, indeed. Word’s Hidden Text feature is what you’re looking for. With it, you can add comments to a document that will not print with the document, unless you instruct Word to print them.

To add hidden text, first select (highlight) the text you want to hide. Then, click Format > Font > Font tab, and select the Hidden check box. Words entered as hidden text appear with a dotted underscore so you can distinguish them from non-hidden text.

To view hidden text on screen, click the Show/Hide button on the Standard Toolbar. Hint: The Show/Hide button looks like a paragraph mark. Bonus Hint: A paragraph mark looks like a backwards letter “P”.

Q. Towards the top right side of my keyboard are three keys and I have no idea what they do. The keys are Prt Scr/Sys Rq, then Scroll Lock, and Pause/Break. Can you explain what each of these mystery keys do, please?

A. Prt Scr is the Print Screen key. Pressing this key saves a snapshot image of whatever appears on screen at a given time to the Windows Clipboard. The process of saving a screen-shot image occurs behind the scenes, so when you press the Prt Scr key, it appears as if nothing happens. To use the captured image, go to your destination location, then right-click and select Paste. Whatever has been captured to the Clipboard will pop onto the screen.

While pressing the Prt Scr key appears to do nothing, pressing the “lower case” part of the same key designated as Sys Rq or System Request, truly does nothing. It’s a relic from another era of computing. Trust me: You’ll never use it.

Scroll Lock and Pause/Break are also relics from another era -- not unlike Mr. Modem -- that you’ll also never need. (The keys, not Mr. Modem.) Originally, long before Windows made its debut back in the primordial DOS (Disk Operating System) era, the keys were used to stop scrolling text that appeared on screen.

Q. I’m looking for Scandisk on my Windows XP computer, but I can’t find it. Can you help me, Mr. M?

A. Windows XP and Vista have an error-checking program, but it’s not Scandisk, which was included in previous versions of Windows. To run the error-checking utility in XP or Vista, go to My Computer, then right-click the drive you want to check (usually the C: drive), and select Properties > Tools tab. In the Error Checking section, click the Check Now button.

In the window that appears, click to place a check mark beside “Automatically fix file system errors,” and “Scan for and attempt recovery of bad sectors.” Click the Start button to begin the festivities.

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