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: Deleting Table Columns with Track Changes Turned On.

Deleting Table Columns with Track Changes Turned On

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated November 19, 2016)

If you are editing a document with Track Changes turned on, you know that it is a great tool for keeping a record of what was changed in a document. There is a problem, however—not all actions can be tracked. From an editing standpoint, one big thing that cannot be tracked is the deletion of columns in a table. You can delete rows and the edit is tracked just fine, but if you try to delete a column you'll see a dialog box that says "This action will not be marked as a change. Do you want to continue?" Choose Yes, and the edit is made (the column is deleted), but there is no change noted in the document. Choose No, and the deletion is abandoned.

There is no way to force Word to delete the column and track the change. This appears to be because deleting a column is too complex of an edit for Word to track. All you can do is come up with ways to work around the limitation.

One way is to select the column you want to delete and then press Ctrl+C. This copies the column to the Clipboard. You can then press the Del key, which lets Word know you want to delete the column. Assuming Track Changes is on, you'll see the dialog box mentioned earlier. Go ahead and click Yes, and the column is deleted. You can then insert a comment just before the table and, within the comment, press Ctrl+V to paste the deleted column into the comment. The result is that you delete the column but still keep "track" of what used to be contained within the column.

Another option is to copy the whole table and paste it beneath the original table. Then, delete the original table (select the whole thing and press Del) and delete the unwanted column from the newly pasted table. You then have the original in the document, marked correctly by Track Changes, and the inserted table that represents your final, edited table.

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (439) 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: Deleting Table Columns with Track Changes Turned On.

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. ...

MORE FROM ALLEN

Printing Comments from a Macro

Need to print the comments you've added to a document? You can do it manually or you can have your macro do the printing. ...

Discover More

Shortcuts to Hide Columns

Need a quick way to hide and unhide columns in a worksheet? The shortcuts described in this tip can help fill the bill.

Discover More

Aligning Plus/Minus Symbols

Scientific writing often involves the use of special symbols, such as the plus/minus symbol. If you want to align these ...

Discover More

Create Custom Apps with VBA! Discover how to extend the capabilities of Office 2013 (Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, and Access) with VBA programming, using it for writing macros, automating Office applications, and creating custom applications. Check out Mastering VBA for Office 2013 today!

More WordTips (menu)

Changing How Changes are Noted in Word

Do you want to modify how Word marks changes in your document? It's easy to do, depending on your version of Word.

Discover More

Getting a Warning for Markup

Many people, when collaborating on a document with others, use the Track Changes feature to show the effects of their ...

Discover More

Setting Default Options for Track Changes

The Track changes feature in Word is a great help in editing documents, particularly if you are working with others or ...

Discover More
Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in WordTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

View most recent newsletter.

Comments

If you would like to add an image to your comment (not an avatar, but an image to help in making the point of your comment), include the characters [{fig}] in your comment text. You’ll be prompted to upload your image when you submit the comment. Maximum image size is 6Mpixels. Images larger than 600px wide or 1000px tall will be reduced. Up to three images may be included in a comment. All images are subject to review. Commenting privileges may be curtailed if inappropriate images are posted.

What is two less than 6?

There are currently no comments for this tip. (Be the first to leave your comment—just use the simple form above!)


This Site

Got a version of Word that uses the menu interface (Word 97, Word 2000, Word 2002, or Word 2003)? This site is for you! If you use a later version of Word, visit our WordTips site focusing on the ribbon interface.

Newest Tips
Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in WordTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

(Your e-mail address is not shared with anyone, ever.)

View the most recent newsletter.