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Track Changes

Word has a powerful tool that allows you to keep track of changes as they are made, which is particularly useful when more than one person works on the same document. You can adjust how Word tracks and displays changes easily by following the tips in these articles.

Tips, Tricks, and Answers

The following articles are available for the 'Track Changes' topic. Click the article's title (shown in bold) to see the associated article.

Accepting All Formatting Changes
Tired of wading through a bunch of formatting changes when you have Track Changes turned on? Here's how to accept all those formatting changes so you can get to the other, more substantive changes.

Changing How Changes are Noted in Word
Do you want to modify how Word marks changes in your document? It's easy to do, depending on your version of Word.

Changing Revision Bar Thickness
Ever wonder how to customize the way the Track Changes feature displays revision bars at the side of changed material? This tip explains what you can and can't change.

Colors for Tracking Changes not Acting Properly
When the Track Changes feature is turned on, Word, by default, displays the edits made by each document editor in different colors. If you aren't seeing different colors for each editor on your system, it could be related to a configuration setting in the Options dialog box. This tip explains the setting and walks you through changing it.

Consolidating Changes under a Single User
When using Track Changes, you may want to have your edits appear to be those of a different user. Here's how to fool Word into thinking you are someone else.

Counting Changed Words
Track Changes is a handy tool for those who need to see how a document changes over time. If you have a long document with lots of changes, you may want to know how many words in the document were changed due to insertions and deletions. Here's how to get the information you want.

Deleting Table Columns with Track Changes Turned On
If you are editing a document with Track Changes turned on, Word won't let you delete a column in a table and have it marked as a change. There are ways around this problem, which are discussed in this tip.

Disabling Track Changes Completely
Have you ever had problems with a document because you accidentally pressed a keyboard shortcut? The good news is that you can disable individual shortcuts. Here's how.

Displaying Edits by Date
Track Changes is a great tool; it allows you to see what changes were made in a document and then determine whether you want to accept those changes or not. It could be very helpful to view changes by the date on which they were made. This tip discusses how you can view changes in this manner.

Examining Tracked Changes in a Macro
The Track Changes feature in Word is very handy when you need to see what edits are made to a document. Using a macro you can even access the changes to see what they are. Here's how to get at the most elemental of the change information.

Getting a Warning for Markup
Many people, when collaborating on a document with others, use the Track Changes feature to show the effects of their editing. When printing your document, you may not want Word to include these changes in the printout. You can instruct the program to warn you if you try to print and there are any tracked changes or comments in the document.

Hiding Formatting Changes in Track Changes
Word can easily (and handily) keep track of changes you make in your document. You may not want all your changes tracked, however. For instance, you may not want Word to keep track of changes you make to your formatting. Here's how to adjust what Word tracks.

Making Sure Changes and Comments are Anonymous
When using Track Changes, Word normally notes the originator of a particular comment or change. This information can then be displayed so that other readers can know who did what. If you want comments and changes to be anonymous, then there are a couple of things you can do, as described in this tip.

Multiple Document Users
If you have a group of people working on a single document, you may wonder what tools are available in Word to facilitate the needs of the group. This tip discusses different approaches your group members can take when working on that document.

Pasting Text with Track Changes
Track Changes is a great tool for developing documents. If you want to copy text from one document to another, with tracked changes intact, you'll need the info in this tip.

Printing Documents without Markup
If you have a document with Track Changes turned on, you can accumulate quite a bit of "markup" in it. Here's how you can print the document without that markup showing up.

Printing Only Changed Pages
Turn Track Changes on, and you can easily see where you've made changes throughout a document. If you want to print only those pages on which changes have been made, you are out of luck, however. Here's a way you can get around this limitation, however.

Printing without Track Changes Marks
If your document has a lot of markup visible in it, you may want to print a copy of the document that doesn't reflect those changes. Here's how to get the clean output you need.

Protecting Tracked Changes
Track Changes is a great tool for editors and collaborators to use when creating documents. An author, seeking changes from editors, may want to protect a document so that nobody else can accept or reject changes made in the document. This tip explains how that protection can be achieved.

Protecting Your Revisions
Want to protect your documents so that people can't edit them without you knowing about it? One way is to make sure that the document is protected so that only marked revisions can be made. Word makes this easy.

Rejecting Changes in a Document
When a group of people edits a document with Track Changes turned on, it can be tempting for one of the editors to use the "reject change" option to undo an edit by a previous individual. Doing so, however, makes it harder to see what editors actually changed. Here's how (and why) you should use the tools differently.

Select All Changes By a Particular Reviewer
The Track Changes feature in Word allows you and other editors to easily collaborate on the development of a document. If you want to see all the changes made by one particular editor, follow the steps in this tip.

Setting Default Options for Track Changes
The Track changes feature in Word is a great help in editing documents, particularly if you are working with others or your edits need to be reviewed by others. Word provides a way to modify how your changes are noted in a document, and Word should always retain those modifications. Here's what to do if your modification of the Track Changes settings are not retained.

Showing Only Added Text with Track Changes
Do you want to change how Track Changes displays the markup in your document? Here's how you can completely hide deleted text so that only your added text shows up.

Tracked Changes Notification when Opening
If you have Word configured to show markup on-screen and you look through a document, it is easy to tell where changes have been made. It is a bit more difficult to find just a few changes in a long document, however. In such instances, it may be helpful to get some sort of visual notification, when you open a document, that there are changes in that document. This tip provides a couple of macros you can use to display just such a warning.

Tracked Changes Won't Go Away
Track Changes is a great tool when editing a document, but the ways that it affects your document can sometimes be confusing. If you have changes that don't seem to go away when you think they should, some of the answers could be found in this tip.

Turning Off Track Changes Change Bars
Word includes a feature that allows you to track changes made to a document. One of the ways in which Word marks your changes on a document is to include a change bar at the side of a line in which a change was made.

Turning Track Changes Off for Selected Areas
Track Changes is a great tool to use so that you can, well, "track" what changes are made during the development of a document. In some parts of your document, however, you don't particularly care if Word keeps track of what is changing. In those instances it would be nice to turn off the feature for selected areas of the document. While Word doesn't allow you to do this, there are some workarounds you can try to achieve the same desired result.

Using Different Colors with Tracked Changes
When changes are made in a document with Track Changes turned on, each author's changes are normally shown in a different color. If you want your changes to show in different colors based on different editing passes, here's how to get the color changes you need.

Using the Reviewing Toolbar
The Reviewing toolbar is a handy location for many of the tools often used by editors when working on a document. Here's an overview of which tools are available and what they do.

Using Track Changes
Track Changes is a valuable Word tool that allows you to automatically mark changes in your document. This is a great boon when you want to see what changes have been made by you or another editor. Using Track Changes is easy, depending on the version of Word you are using.


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