How to Remove Text Highlighting in Google Docs: A Step-by-Step Guide

Removing text highlighting in Google Docs is pretty straightforward. Simply select the highlighted text, click on the highlighter tool in the toolbar, and choose "None." And just like that, the highlighting is gone!

After you complete the action, the text will return to its default state, without any background color highlighting it. This can help make your document look cleaner and more professional, or prepare it for printing without using up colored ink.


Ah, Google Docs. It’s the trusty sidekick for students, professionals, and anyone in between who needs an easy-to-use word processor. But as with any sidekick, sometimes it has quirks that need fixing – like unwanted text highlighting. Whether it’s a shared document where someone got highlighter-happy, or you’re just trying to clean up your own work, removing text highlighting can be a necessary task.

But why does it matter? Well, highlighting serves a great purpose in drawing attention to key information, but when it’s time to finalize a document, that extra color can be more of a distraction. This topic is important for anyone who uses Google Docs and wants to maintain a tidy, distraction-free document. It’s particularly relevant for those preparing documents for professional settings, assignments, or publications where clarity and presentation are key.

Step by Step Tutorial on How to Remove Text Highlighting in Google Docs

Before we dive into the steps, let’s clarify what we’ll accomplish here. Following these steps will allow you to remove any unwanted text highlighting from your Google Docs document, restoring your text to its original, unhighlighted state.

Step 1: Open your document

Open the Google Docs document that contains the highlighted text you want to remove.

Opening your document is the first step because, well, you need to be in the document to make changes, right? Make sure you’re logged into your Google account and navigate to the correct document.

Step 2: Select the highlighted text

Click and drag your cursor over the text that’s been highlighted to select it.

When you select the text, you’re telling Google Docs exactly which parts you want to change. Make sure you’ve selected all the highlighted sections you want to remove the color from.

Step 3: Click on the highlighter tool

Look for the highlighter tool in the toolbar—it looks like a pen tip with a line of color beneath it.

The highlighter tool is where all the magic happens. It’s not just for adding color; it’s also your gateway to removing it.

Step 4: Choose "None"

Once you’ve clicked on the highlighter tool, a color palette should appear. From there, select "None."

Choosing "None" tells Google Docs to remove any and all highlight colors from your selected text, reverting it to its default state.


Benefit Explanation
Clean Presentation Removing text highlighting can make your document look more professional and easier to read.
Text Clarity Without the distraction of background colors, your text can stand out more clearly.
Preparing for Printing If you’re printing documents, removing highlighting can save colored ink and ensure the text is legible.


Drawback Explanation
Time-Consuming If you have a lot of text to unhighlight, it can be a time-consuming process to select and remove the highlighting from each section.
Accidental Deletions While selecting text to unhighlight, there’s a risk of accidentally deleting text if you’re not careful.
Loss of Emphasis Removing highlighting also removes an element of emphasis, which might be needed for study or presentation purposes.

Additional Information

When you’re working with Google Docs, there’s always a little more to learn. For instance, did you know that you can also remove highlighting by using the ‘Clear Formatting’ option? This not only removes highlighting but also any additional formatting like bold or italic. However, use this with caution, as it will remove all styles applied to your text, not just the highlighting.

Another handy tip is to use the ‘Undo’ command (Ctrl + Z or Command + Z) immediately if you accidentally apply or remove highlighting that you didn’t mean to. And, if you’re collaborating with others, be sure to communicate about any highlighting changes you make to avoid any confusion.

Remember that highlighting can be a fantastic tool for organizing your thoughts, studying, or emphasizing important points in a document. So, while this article focuses on removing text highlighting in Google Docs, don’t underestimate its power when used appropriately!


  1. Open your document
  2. Select the highlighted text
  3. Click on the highlighter tool
  4. Choose "None"

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I remove highlighting from multiple sections at once?

Yes, you can select multiple sections of highlighted text by holding down the Ctrl or Command key while you click and drag over the sections you want to unhighlight.

Will removing highlighting also remove the text?

No, removing highlighting only removes the background color. Your text will remain intact.

Is there a shortcut to remove highlighting?

While there isn’t a direct shortcut, you can use the ‘Clear Formatting’ option by pressing Ctrl + or Command + , but remember, this will clear all formatting.

Can I undo the removal of highlighting?

Absolutely! Just use the ‘Undo’ command immediately after removing the highlighting if you change your mind.

How do I re-highlight text if needed?

Simply select the text you want to highlight, click on the highlighter tool, and choose your desired color.


Removing text highlighting in Google Docs is a simple process that can greatly improve the readability and presentation of your document. By following the steps outlined in this article, you can easily unhighlight text, ensuring your document looks its best for whatever purpose it serves. Whether you’re finalizing a report, preparing an assignment, or simply cleaning up your notes, mastering this skill will undoubtedly come in handy.

Remember, while highlighting can be an effective tool for emphasis, it’s equally important to know how to remove it when the time comes. So go ahead, give these steps a try, and enjoy your clean, unhighlighted Google Docs!

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