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When you use the change tracking features of Word, you can edit your documents and allow Word to mark what has been changed. One of the options is to include "change bars," which are nothing but vertical bars that appear in the margin of your document to indicate a line or paragraph where a change has been made.
In some disciplines, change bars are used quite frequently. You may want to use change bars, but not have change tracking turned on. In other words, you may want to manually add a change bar to your document.
This is a bit more difficult proposition than it may first appear. If you only want change bars, and no other indication of changes in your document, you are almost out of luck. Let me explain...
You can choose the Track Changes tab from the Options dialog box, and therein set exactly how you want Word to mark edits to your document, once you have change tracking turned on. The problem is this, however: You can only get change bars if you actually change text. For instance, if you want a change bar to appear beside a line of text, you must change something on that line. If you don't want the change itself to show (you only want the bar), this if fine--provided you don't want changes to show anywhere else in your document either. You can use the Track Changes tab to specify how changes show globally in your document, but not on an individual basis.
If this is acceptable, then setting change bars manually is a fairly straightforward process. All you need to do is turn off the text color changes for revisions, make sure that changes are underlined or struck through, turn on change tracking, and then make a change on the line where you want the change bar to appear. You can then turn off change tracking, and the change bar is still visible. You can even automate this process by recording a macro to take care of it for you. For instance, the following simple VBA macro will do the work:
Sub MarkIt() Selection.Cut With Options .InsertedTextMark = wdInsertedTextMarkNone .InsertedTextColor = wdAuto .DeletedTextMark = wdDeletedTextMarkStrikeThrough .DeletedTextColor = wdAuto .RevisedPropertiesMark = wdRevisedPropertiesMarkNone .RevisedPropertiesColor = wdAuto .RevisedLinesMark = wdRevisedLinesMarkLeftBorder .RevisedLinesColor = wdAuto End With With ActiveDocument .TrackRevisions = True .PrintRevisions = True .ShowRevisions = True End With Selection.Paste With ActiveDocument .TrackRevisions = False .PrintRevisions = True .ShowRevisions = True End With End Sub
All you need to do is select the text you want to "mark" and then run the macro.
There is another way of handling the manual change bars that doesn't even rely on the change tracking feature of Word. All you need to do is set a bar tab at a position of -.12 inches in your paragraph, and a change bar appears to the left of the paragraph. Note that this places the bar to the left of the entire paragraph, and not just to the left of individual lines in the paragraph. If you want to use this approach, follow these steps:
Figure 1. The Tabs dialog box
WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (474) applies to Microsoft Word 97, 2000, 2002, and 2003.
Add a Professional Finishing Touch! Word includes great tools that allow you to add professional-grade finishing touches to your documents. You can add indexes, tables of contents, and other special tables by using the detailed information available in this volume. Check out WordTips: Indexes and Special Tables today!