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.

Changing How Changes are Noted in Word

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated July 27, 2016)

6

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.

Author Bio

Allen Wyatt

With more than 50 non-fiction books and numerous magazine articles to his credit, Allen Wyatt is an internationally recognized author. He is president of Sharon Parq Associates, a computer and publishing services company. ...

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What is 1 + 8?

2022-07-17 07:53:03

Susan S

Hi, I work all day and every day in Word as an editor. So I am familiar with track changes. However, I've received some documents from a client in which the track change function is completely wonky. My settings are the same as for other documents. But when I add text now during the editing, my new text shows up in a different color and underlined (that's normal). But when I change my mind and go to delete that newly added text, it acts like text added when the review function is off -- that is, there is a strikethrough line on my track change-added text instead of my track change-added text simply being deleted. I end up with a document with my added text or changes in one color, my added text that I then tried to delete in a different color and with a strikethrough and the original document text in black. The only way to get rid of this is to "accept deletion" and then the new text that I wanted to get rid of is finally gone. This adds an enormous amount of work to what is a simple operation on other documents. Any thoughts?


2016-09-21 18:28:44

Melissa Kinsey

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.


2016-09-14 20:49:44

Dave

CaptOnWater's fix didn't work for me on Word 2016.


2016-03-03 15:58:39

CaptOnWater

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.


2015-10-26 09:19:44

Dan Leveille

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.


2015-05-12 17:31:29

Mary Wilson

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.


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