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There is some content that is automatically populated in one of our Word document templates.

I was wondering if it is possible to have this zone visible when looking at the document, but not have it appear when the doc is printed/converted to PDF. (sort of like the opposite of defining a "print area" in excel, defining a "no print zone"

I can change word settings, as well as the template if need be.

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Yes, you just need to set the text as hidden.

Before you do that, you need to turn on the display of hidden text by clicking File -> under help Options -> Display. Then in the section Always show these formatting marks on the screen make sure that Hidden text is checked.

Now, select the text you want to hide, right-click it, and go to Font... dialog. In the dialog, the middle section is called Effects where the last (bottom-right) option is Hidden; check it. The text will now be displayed with a faint dotted underline and won't print.

If you have some data in a table that you want to hide but want to keep the table, you need to go cell by cell selecting just the text (when a cell is selected, the whole area is blue) and mark it hidden. If you want to hide the whole table, select the entire table and click the square button in the lower-right corner of the Font group in the Home tab to bring up Font dialog.

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"If you want to hide the whole table, select the entire table and click the square button in the lower-right corner of the Font group in the Home tab to bring up Font dialog." Note that this will not hide the table borders, only the text. This has bugged me for years but I have found no workaround. – user134735 May 17 '12 at 13:44

No, there is no way if what you need is to hide an area, whatever it contains. You can hide text, as explained in a previous answers, but if the area contains other elements, as for instance tables, drawings, images, mixed with text, you have to hide them one by one. You cannot simply select a part of your page and say: hide this.

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