Hide text

You will often find that you want to hide or dramatically reveal text in a PowerPoint presentation. You might want to do this for several reasons, such as to pace a show, to hold audience attention, to use the same slide for multiple purposes, or simply to conceal notes from your audience.

PowerPoint offers many different techniques for hiding and revealing text, including on-slide animations, transitions, hidden speaker notes, hide/reveal features on the selection pane, and a variety of on-screen formatting tricks, such as placing white text on a white background.

Let’s look at some of the options.

In this article

Hide or reveal text using the selection pane

Hide and reveal text or images behind an object

Hide text by changing colors

Hide and reveal text by applying animations

Hide or reveal text using the selection pane
  1. On the Home tab, click Select, and then click Selection Pane.

    The Selection Pane opens, and all the objects in the slide are visible in it.

    On the Home tab, click Select, and then click Selection Pane.
  2. In the Selection Pane, click the eye image ( Eye icon ) next to the text box or other object that you want to hide.

    In the Selection Pane, click the eye image next to the text box or other object that you want to hide.

    The text is hidden from view.

  3. To reveal text that is hidden, click the “closed eye” image ( Closed eye icon. ).

    To reveal text that is hidden, click the “closed eye” image.

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Hide and reveal text or images behind an object

You can hide and reveal text or images by using the drawing tools in the Format tab of a text box. This example uses text, but the same process applies for images.

Note: This technique works only if the object that you hide the text behind is not transparent. You can use Fill to make an object opaque.

Hide text behind an object or image
  1. Select the text box you want to hide.

    Select the text box you want to hide.
  2. Move the text box on top of the object you want to hide it behind.

    Move the text box on top of the object you want to hide it behind.
  3. Select the object you want to hide again, and in the Format tab, click Send Backward or Send to Back.

    Select the object you want to hide, and in the Format tab, click Send Backward or Send to Back.
  4. The text is hidden behind the object.

    The text is hidden behind the object.

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Reveal text that is hidden behind an object or image
  1. Select the text box you want to reveal.

    Select the text box you want to reveal.
  2. In the FORMAT tab, click Bring Forward, and select Bring to Front.

    In the Bring Forward drop-down menu, and select Bring to Front.
  3. The text is brought to the front of the object.

    Move the text box on top of the object you want to hide it behind.

Note: Hidden text will still print when you use the Print Outline function.

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Hide text by changing colors

A simple way to temporarily hide text is to change its color to exactly match the color of its text box or the slide background.

Match the color of text to its text box or object
  1. Right-click the edge of the object or background to see its fill color. In the example below, we match the text color to its text box.

    Right-click the edge of the object to see its fill color. You can then match the text color to that of its text box.

    If the Fill feature is not there, the object does not use a fill color. You might have to hide the text by using the color of the slide background instead.

  2. Now select your text, and then choose the same color in the Font Color selector.

    The text will disappear against the object of the same color.

  3. To reveal the text again, select the object, and then change the font color to a contrasting color.

    Note: Hidden text will still print when you use the Print Outline function.

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Match the color of text to the background
  1. Right-click the background, click Format Background, and then note the color of the background in the Color list in the Format Background pane.

    Specify the color of the background in the Color list in the Format Background pane.
  2. Close the Format Background pane.

  3. In the slide, select the text that you want to hide, and then click the background color in the Font Color selector.

    Select the text that you want to hide, and click the background color in the Font Color selector.

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Hide and reveal text by applying animations

You can make objects and text appear and disappear in many dramatic ways by applying animation. Start by opening your PowerPoint presentation, and think about the order in which you intend to present the information to your audience. On a single slide, identify the item that you want to show first, and also identify an item that you want to reveal later. You can apply animations to text, images, and other items.

  1. Click the text or image to which you want to apply the animation.

  2. On the Animations tab, click Add Animation, and then select the animation you want to apply.

    On the Animations tab, click Add Animation, and select the animation you want to apply.

    Animations are available in the following four categories:

    • Entrance: Control how the text appears on the slide.

    • Emphasis: Draw attention to the text.

    • Exit: Control how the text leaves the slide.

    • Motion Paths: Control how the text moves around the slide.

    If your intention is to hide or show text on a slide, you’ll probably use either the Entrance or Exit animations.

    For more information about creating an animation, start with Apply an animation effect to text or objects.

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See Also

Add or remove transitions between slides

Add speaker notes to your slides

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