Do you collaborate with others and want to keep a record of changes that have been made? Track changes will be your new best friend. When track changes is turned on then insertion or deletion of text and other items is recorded along with any formatting altered. It is located on the Review tab in Microsoft Word.
How will I see Track Changes?
- Inserted text shows in colour and is underlined
- Deleted text shows as a coloured balloon on the right side of the document
- Changes in formatting show in a coloured balloon on the right side of the document
- Vertical line on the left of the document shows that there has been an alteration somewhere in that line
The colour for insertion, deletion and formatting is different for each user making it easier to see who has changed what if multiple people are altering the same file.
How to View the Document
What you are seeing will depend on the option chosen. Being able to see the document as it was originally or if all the changes are accepted can often be as useful as seeing the changes that have been made. By default, this “Display for Review” option is set to All Markup.
- All Markup shows the changes made as described above
- Simple Markup shows only the line on the left side denoting that there has been a change somewhere in that line
- No markup shows the final version of the file
- Original shows the document as it looked before any changes were made
Changing what Markup is Shown
If all markup is chosen then it is not required to always see all the changes mentioned so far. The show markup icon can be used to change what is important to you, what is showing in the balloons along with whose markup is seen if many people have altered the same file
This is an alternative way to see the changes that have been made to the file
Accepting and Rejecting Changes
Once all the changes have been made then you may choose to accept some (or all) of the changes made or reject the ones you feel are not suitable.
Accepts one or more of the changes depending on the option chosen
Accept and move to next – the change selected is accepted and the next change is automatically selected
Accept this change – this change only is accepted
Accept all changes shown – only available if not all changes by all people are showing. Accepts all changes currently viewed
Accept all changes – accepts all changes that have been made
Accept all changes and stop tracking – accepts all changes that have been made and turns off track changes so any new changes are not recorded
Rejects one or more of the changes depending on the option chosen
Reject and move to next – the change selected is rejected and the next change is automatically selected
Reject this change – this change only is rejected
Reject all changes shown – only available if not all changes by all people are showing. Rejects all changes currently viewed
Reject all changes – Rejects all changes that have been made
Reject all changes and stop tracking – Rejects all changes that have been made and turns off track changes so any new changes are not recorded
These can be used to navigate from one change to the next
Finishing Using Track Changes
If track changes has not been switched off in any other way then it can be turned off by selecting track changes again. No changes will be recorded unless it is turned back on. The changes made are still evident and remain so until they are accepted or rejected.
Stopping Others Turning Off Track Changes
The whole idea of track changes it that you can monitor changes that people are making to your files. If anyone can click on the Track Changes icon and turn it off this isn’t much help! From the track changes icon there is an option to Lock Tracking. A password is applied and will now be required to turn off track changes.