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: Disabling Track Changes Completely.

Disabling Track Changes Completely

Written by Allen Wyatt (last updated July 30, 2020)
This tip applies to Word 97, 2000, 2002, and 2003


Monica uses shortcut keys for applying styles and formatting in Word. Once in a while she accidentally turns on the Track Changes feature without realizing it, which causes problems for her. She would like a way to disable Track Changes completely.

The bad news is that there is no way to actually disable Track Changes. The good news is that you probably don't need to disable it. The problem isn't Track Changes, but the shortcut used to enable Track Changes. If you disable the shortcut, then you won't inadvertently turn it on while you are shortcutting away.

The shortcut key that toggles Track Changes is Ctrl+Shift+E. To disable this shortcut key, follow these steps:

  1. Choose Customize from the Tools menu. Word displays the Customize dialog box.
  2. Click the Keyboard button. Word displays the Customize Keyboard dialog box. (See Figure 1.)
  3. Figure 1. The Customize Keyboard dialog box.

  4. In the Categories list, choose Tools.
  5. In the Commands list, choose ToolsRevisionMarksToggle. You should see the Ctrl+Shift+E shortcut appear in the Current Keys box.
  6. Select the shortcut in the Current Keys box.
  7. Click Remove.
  8. Close both of the open dialog boxes.

Since the shortcut for Track Changes is now gone, you'll no longer be able to accidentally turn it on.

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (191) 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: Disabling Track Changes Completely.

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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