Updated: 08/16/2021 by Computer Hope

Highlight may refer to any of the following:

1. A highlight is a visual indication that text or another object is selected with the mouse or keyboard. When text, files, folders, cells, or other objects are highlighted, they'll be a different color, have a bold border, or other types of formatting that differentiate it from other objects. For example, when highlighting text, the selected text colors reverse, show as blue, have dots around the selection, or have bold lines around the selected text.

Highlighting text allows a user to move, copy, or cut that selected text. Highlighting an object, such as an icon, also allows it to be cut, copied, deleted, moved, viewed, opened, or otherwise manipulated.

Highlighted text

Above is an example of highlighted text in a text editor.

What happens if you press a key when text is highlighted?

If text is highlighted in a text editor or a form field and you press a key, that text will be overwritten by the key you pressed. For example, if text was highlighted and you pressed "a," that highlighted text would be replaced by the letter "a." If you pressed the Enter, the text would be replaced with a new line or paragraph depending on the program.


In most programs, if you've overwritten any text and want to get the text back, you can undo the change.

How to unhighlight?

To unhighlight text or another object, move your mouse pointer to somewhere that's not highlighted and click once.

What is the text highlight color?

The text highlight color can vary depending on the program used when text is highlighted. For example, in Microsoft Word, many text editors, and on most browsers, the text is highlighted in a blue box. Other programs may highlight text in a black box.


A developer can make the highlight box any color they want. For example, a web developer could change the highlight color on their web page through CSS.

2. With Microsoft Word and other text programs, text can be highlighted in a different color for quick reference. For example, "This text is highlighted in yellow" and is easily seen while skimming this page.

3. With HTML, text can be highlighted using the <span> tag and formatted with a style, using CSS, or using the HTML5 <mark> tag.

Mark, Marquee, Reverse video, Select, Shift clicking, Software terms