What is Show or Hide Ink in Excel, Word, PowerPoint (Office 365)

If you have a computer with a touch display, you can use the Ink feature or Ink Annotation, available in Excel, Word, PowerPoint, or any product of Office 365 that supports the Ink feature. It allows anybody to use touch to mark mistakes and suggest new features. In this post, we will show how you can show or hide Ink in Excel, Word, and PowerPoint (Office 365) on the Windows PC (Windows 11/10)

Draw Ink Excel Word PowerPoint

What is Show or Hide Ink in Excel, Word, PowerPoint (Office/Microsoft 365) on Windows PC

You should have a Touch-based display if you want to use the Ink feature. When touch is enabled, the option to draw with Ink is available under the Draw tab in the Ribbon Menu. That said, the Ink feature can be a little obstructing as they are on top of actual data in Excel, or Word, or PowerPoint. So, you may want to hide ink in Excel. If you cannot find ink-based comments, then Ink may be disabled.

Note: The options to enable or disable the Ink feature are almost simultaneously on Microsoft Word, Excel, and PowerPoint. We have also shared how to enable the draw feature at the end of the post.

How to Show or Hide Ink

In Microsoft Excel, under Review > Hide Ink (Earlier versions of Office have this as Show Ink). It displays handwritten notes on an Excel file, Word, or PowerPoint using a stylus or any other device created on a Tablet or touch-based PC. So when a user reviewing an Excel document wants to add handwritten comments, he can use an input device, and the system captures and saves it into the document at the same place.

Microsoft 365/ Office 365

Show Hide Ink in Office 365

If the Hide Ink button is greyed out, it will not display handwritten comments on the document. If that’s the case, click on Hide Ink again. It will reveal all ink-based comments.

When you click the little arrow down button, it reveals two more options. You can choose to Delete All Ink on the sheet or Delete all Ink in the Workbook to remove all the Ink-based comments from the Workbook. While you can, use it carefully.

Earlier versions of Microsoft Office (2013, 2016 and 2019)

Show Ink feature is available in Office 2016,2019 under Review > Comments > Show Ink. When you click or tap on it, it will display all Ink comments and hide when you tap on it again.

Show ink in Excel
Show Ink in Excel

I was able to find one sample from here, which gives you a view of what an Ink Annotation looks like:

Ink Annotation in Excel
Ink Annotation in Excel

In similar ways, you can show or hide Ink in Word

How to Enable Draw and Write with Ink in Office

Draw Option in Excel

Touch-enabled devices: The Draw tab is ready to use on any device with a touchscreen, like a tablet or 2-in-1 laptop. You don’t need to configure anything further to access drawing tools.

Non-touchscreen devices: If your device doesn’t ha e a touchscreen, you can still access the Draw tab and use its features for digital inking. Here’s how:

  1. Open Microsoft Word.
  2. Click File in the top left corner.
  3. Select Options from the menu on the left.
  4. In the Opt ons window, click Customize Ribbon on the left side.
  5. On the right side, scroll down the list of Main Tabs and find Draw.
  6. Click the checkbox next to Draw to enable it.
  7. Click OK to save your changes.

Now, the Draw tab will be displayed on the ribbon, allowing you to access pens, pencils, highlighters, and other drawing tools in your Excel documents.

How to Use Ink in Excel

We hope the tutorial to show or hide Ink in Microsoft Office was easy to understand and that you could follow.


  1. The thing is I still use Office 03. I think your pictures are from Office 07, but thanks for the share!

  2. Thank you! for whatever reason, every time I try to use the “help” feature with MS Office, I get a message saying “help isn’t working, but you can still go to Office.com to get the latest and greatest…blah, blah”. Do you know why that is happening? It’s a pain because you can never easily find the answer to anything. I did a bing search and found the answer to my question o the first click. THANK YOU!! Di


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