More Hidden Secrets

Last week we talked about using Hidden formatting to make sure a list sorts properly. But Hidden formatting is useful for other things as well.

Let’s say you’re editing a scholarly book with dozens of block quotations from old journals. The author has consistently misspelled several geographical and personal names, so you fire up our MegaReplacer program to find and replace them all in one fell swoop (or you get ready to do them one at a time, by hand).

But wait! Although you want to replace the *author’s* misspellings, you *don’t* want to replace the original misspellings in the block quotations. They need to be reproduced verbatim. And you certainly don’t want to okay every replacement by hand in this, long, long book.

Hidden formatting to the rescue!

Being the astute editor that you are, you’ve already formatted the block quotations with a style–named Block, let’s say. (If you’re not using styles for formatting, I beg you to learn how *today.* It will save you enormous amounts of time.) All you need to do now is set formatting in the Block style to Hidden. Here’s how:

1. Click the Format menu.

2. Click “Style.”

3. In the Styles box, click “Block.”

4. Click the Modify button.

5. Click the Format button.

6. Click “Font.”

7. Check the box labeled “Hidden.”

8. Click the OK button.

9. Click the next OK button.

10. Click the Close button.

Whoa! All of your block quotations will have disappeared–if you’re not displaying hidden text. If you *are* displaying hidden text, hide it, like this:

1. Click the Tools menu.

2. Click “Options.”

3. Uncheck the box labeled “Hidden text.”

4. Click the OK button.

Now, with your block quotations hidden, you can find and replace the misspellings in the rest of your text. Pretty slick!

Once you’re finished, don’t forget to reset your block quotations so they’re no longer hidden. To do so, follow the first procedure used above, but this time *uncheck* the box labeled “Hidden.” All of your block quotations will reappear, with their misspellings gloriously intact.

Now there’s a “hidden” secret worth knowing!

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