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: Turning Off Track Changes Change Bars.

Turning Off Track Changes Change Bars

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated February 7, 2017)

Word includes a feature that allows you to track changes made to a document. This is controlled by using the Track Changes option from the Tools menu. One of the ways in which Word marks your changes on a document is to include a change bar at the side of a line in which a change was made. This is fairly common in editing, but it may not be to your liking. You can turn off the change bars by following these steps:

  1. Choose Options from the Tools menu. Word displays the Options dialog box.
  2. Make sure the Track Changes tab is selected. (See Figure 1.)
  3. Figure 1. The Track Changes tab of the Options dialog box.

  4. If you are using Word 97 or Word 2000, in the Changed Lines section (bottom of the dialog box), change the Mark drop-down list to (None). If you are using a later version of Word, change the Changed Lines drop-down list to (None).
  5. Click on OK.

Note that making this setting change hides the appearance of the change bars. Rest assured they are still there and can be redisplayed by choosing to display them again.

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (484) 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: Turning Off Track Changes Change Bars.

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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