• Add Secondary Search Text to Word Documents

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    This tip is only useful for large Word documents where the viewers of that document frequently use Word’s search function for navigation and to find what they want in the document.  This tip will work for many different versions of Word.


    Instructions of how to add secondary (alternate) search text to key points in a document to increase the effectiveness of a Word search in that document.


    Word searches are based upon part of a word, a word, or a phrase to match with words in the document that match the letters entered into the search.  This requires any search to find a specific place in the document is based upon the exact word that the author used at that place and not any other synonyms of that word.  Example: The author uses the word “price” so a search for “price” will find that place in the document, but if a viewer searches for “cost” that place would not be found.  Adding the word “cost” near the location of “price” in the document will result in a search for “price” or “cost” taking you to the same location in the document.  If you add secondary search text at key points in a long document, it will greatly enhance any viewer of the document that is using Word search to find the information they want.  All this additional text at key points can take away from the document, but a simple text effect will make the secondary text invisible.  Even invisible text is detected by a Word search so the document looks the same, but much more “search friendly” and search effective.


    • In the Word document go to the word or phrase that you would expect a viewer to use in a search to find this location in the document.
    • Look for blank spaces near this word or phrase. It can be a space to the right of a title heading, blank lines between paragraphs, at the end of a line, etc.   If the blank spaces near this word is too small for your secondary text word(s), decrease the Font size of the secondary text to 1; Word search will still find it.
    • The secondary text will go in any of these blank spaces as just words. After we enter these secondary words we will make them invisible so the document will look as it was before you entered this text.
    • To help you decide what secondary (alternative) words to enter, highlight the word in the document that you want alternative words for and select Thesaurus on the Review tab.
    • To make the secondary text invisible:
    • Highlight the text you want to make invisible.
    • Open the Format Text Effects window by selecting the Home tab, clicking the expand arrow in the right corner of the Font group, and clicking the Text Effects button on the Font tab of the Font window. OR use this keyboard shortcut:  Alt + H, FN, Alt +E (hold down Alt key and press H key, release both keys, press F key, press N key, hold down Alt key and press E key, and release both keys)
    • In the Format Text Effects window, click the > next to Text Fill to expand the Text Fill settings.
    • In the Text Fill settings select No Fill and click OK to close the Format Text Effects window.
    • Click OK to close the Font window and save your changes.
    • The text will not be visible in the document.
    • Perform a search (Ctrl + F) using one of your secondary text words. Word will display that word in the Search navigation pane on the left and highlight the “blank” spot where the word occurred in the document.  Since the “blank” spot is next to word that topic, the viewer is at that point in the document that has the information the viewer is looking for.
    • Be sure the save the document to keep all you secondary search text.

    HTH, Dana:))

    • This topic was modified 2 months, 4 weeks ago by Drcard:)).
    2 users thanked author for this post.
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