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Showing Only Added Text with Track Changes

Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Word versions: 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: Showing Only Added Text with Track Changes.

Part of the changes introduced in Word 2002 involved a different way to deal with showing edits (changes) in a document. The Track Changes system was significantly changed, and the changes caused Word users to learn new ways to do some things.

In older versions of Word, you could easily specify that deleted text be "hidden," meaning that it wouldn't show in the edited document. (You did this by choosing Tools | Options and on the Track Changes tab setting the Mark drop-down list for deleted text to Hidden.) This was handy, as you could easily cause Word to mark any additions to the document and hide any deletions.

Because of the changes in Word 2002, you cannot specify how you want deleted text to appear. Instead, Word shows deleted text either as text with a line through it (if balloons are turned off) or it is hidden (if balloons are turned on). There is no way to both turn off the balloons and hide the deleted text.

There is, however, a compromise approach you can try. Follow these steps if you are using Word 2002:

  1. Choose Options from the Tools menu. Word displays the Options dialog box.
  2. Make sure the Track Changes tab is displayed.
  3. Clear the Use Balloons in Print and Web Layout check box.
  4. Click on OK.
  5. On the Reviewing toolbar, select Final Showing Markup in the Display for Review drop-down list.
  6. On the Reviewing toolbar, click Show and then Insertions and Deletions.

This series of steps hides the deletions on the screen, but it also shows any additions without any "change" notation. Thus, your additions appear as they would in the final document, and the deletions are hidden. This is not the same as in previous versions of Word, where additions would be noted, but it has the benefit of hiding deleted text.

Fortunately, Word 2003 restores the ability to control how deletions are shown, independent of how additions are shown. If you choose Options from the Tools menu, and then display the Track Changes tab, you will see that it includes a Deletions drop-down list. You can choose Hidden in this drop-down list to control the display of changes as you would have in versions prior to Word 2002.

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (8335) applies to Microsoft Word 2002 and 2003. You can find a version of this tip for the ribbon interface of Word (Word 2007 and later) here: Showing Only Added Text with Track Changes.

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