Word.Tips.Net WordTips (Menu Interface)

Changing How Changes are Noted in Word

Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Word versions: 97, 2000, 2002, and 2003. If you are using a later version (Word 2007 or later), this tip may not work for you. For a version of this tip written specifically for later versions of Word, click here: Changing How Changes are Noted in Word.

If you use the Track Changes feature of Word, you know how your document looks as you make changes. Added text is shown in some different color, and deleted text is shown with a strikethrough or in balloons to the side of your text. You may want to change how Word shows your changed text. Fortunately, Word allows you great flexibility in this area. To make your configuration changes, follow these steps:

  1. Choose Options from the Tools menu. Word displays the Options dialog box.
  2. Select the Track Changes tab. (See Figure 1.)
  3. Figure 1. The Track Changes tab of the Options dialog box.

  4. Using the controls in the dialog box, indicate how you want your changes to appear when you have Track Changes turned on.
  5. Click on OK.

In Word 97 and Word 2000, the Track Changes tab allows you to specify four different ways in which changes can be tracked:

  • Inserted Text. Any text you add in a document is normally shown in a different color, and with an underline. You can cause Word to display the text using bold, italic, or a double underline, if you rather.
  • Deleted Text. Normally deleted text is shown with a line through it. You can, instead, cause Word to use hidden text to mark deleted text. You can also cause deleted text to be marked with a carat or a hash mark.
  • Changed Formatting. Typically Word doesn't call attention to any formatting changes in your text. If you want to keep track of this, then change the settings to show how you want note the changes. Word can denote these changes using bold, italic, underlined, or double-underlined text. (The concept of using formatting to indicate formatting changes seems rather circular, doesn't it?)
  • Changed Lines. This setting is used to specify how any lines that contain changes should be noted. Normally, Word adds a vertical bar to the outside border of the line.

In Word 2002 and Word 2003 the options available on the Track Changes tab are a bit different:

  • Track Changes Options. Here you specify how you want text insertions to appear in your document. They normally appear as underlined text in a different color, but you can instruct Word to use different types of formatting for the text you add to the document.
  • Balloons. The controls in this area allow you to specify if Word should use change balloons in your document. These balloons appear at the right side of a document and indicate, precisely, the changes made at different points in the document.
  • Printing. Here you specify how you want Word to print your document when there are change balloons present. You can choose Auto, which allows Word to decide whether to print in portrait or landscape mode; you can chose Preserve, which forces Word to keep the same orientation you specified for your document; and you can choose Force Landscape which forces Word to use landscape orientation whenever there are any change balloons.
  • Changed Lines. This setting is used to specify how any lines that contain changes should be noted. Normally, Word adds a vertical bar to the outside border of the line.

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (40) applies to Microsoft Word 97, 2000, 2002, and 2003. You can find a version of this tip for the ribbon interface of Word (Word 2007 and later) here: Changing How Changes are Noted in Word.

Related Tips:

Comprehensive VBA Guide Visual Basic for Applications (VBA) is the language used for writing macros in all Office programs. This complete guide shows both professionals and novices how to master VBA in order to customize the entire Office suite for their needs. Check out Mastering VBA for Office 2010 today!


Leave your own comment:

  Notify me about new comments ONLY FOR THIS TIP
Notify me about new comments ANYWHERE ON THIS SITE
Hide my email address
*What is 5+3 (To prevent automated submissions and spam.)
           Commenting Terms

Comments for this tip:

Melissa Kinsey    21 Sep 2016, 18:28
In Word 2016 for Mac, go to the Review tab. Click Protect>Protect Document and uncheck "Remove personal information from this file on save." This option may be selected even if your document isn't otherwise protected.
Dave    14 Sep 2016, 20:49
CaptOnWater's fix didn't work for me on Word 2016.
CaptOnWater    03 Mar 2016, 15:58
I found the solution.

1. In Word 2013 Ribbon, go to Review tab
2. In Tracking section click the "Change Tracking Options" arrow in the lower right corner
3. Click Advanced Options
4. For Deletions, "Strikethrough" in the dropdown
5. Click OK
6. Click OK

Now deletions will appear as strikethrough.
If not:
A. check the Tracking section to ensure you have "All Markup" selected,
B. and for "Show Markup" that "Insertions and Deletions" are checked.
Dan Leveille    26 Oct 2015, 09:19
Same problems as Mary. That is why I am searching for ways to make track changes work the way they used to. I suspect it is a Microsoft failure to anticipate backwards compatibility between their software upgrades and my mind.
Mary Wilson    12 May 2015, 17:31
Have checked all Track Changes Advanced Options settings. Have "Strikethrough" checked for deletions, but it doesn't show on my screen--it just takes out the word/letters.

Our Company

Sharon Parq Associates, Inc.

About Tips.Net

Contact Us


Advertise with Us

Our Privacy Policy

Our Sites


Beauty and Style




DriveTips (Google Drive)

ExcelTips (Excel 97–2003)

ExcelTips (Excel 2007–2016)



Home Improvement

Money and Finances


Pests and Bugs

Pets and Animals

WindowsTips (Microsoft Windows)

WordTips (Word 97–2003)

WordTips (Word 2007–2016)

Our Products

Helpful E-books

Newsletter Archives


Excel Products

Word Products

Our Authors

Author Index

Write for Tips.Net

Copyright © 2016 Sharon Parq Associates, Inc.