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: Multiple Document Users.

Multiple Document Users

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated January 10, 2017)

1

It is not unusual for people to work together in "teams" in today's business environment. Instead of a single person being responsible for a given task, a group of people may be charged with its successful completion. This may mean that you have a document for which multiple people are responsible. With some Office programs (such as Excel), multiple users can share the same document and work on it at the same time.

Word does not allow multiple people to use the same Word document at the same time, since the edits by each individual could create havoc with the final document. Instead, Word provides several tools that you can use in a multi-user environment to make collaborating of a document just a bit easier.

The first such tool is referred to as Track Changes. This tool allows two different approaches to document editing, each with plusses and minuses. The first approach assumes a serial progression of the document. For instances, you have a single copy of the document, and it makes its way through each member of your team. With Track Changes turned on, each person's edits are noted and can be easily reviewed by the person ultimately responsible for the document. That person—the one with whom the document originally started and will eventually end—uses the Accept or Reject Changes feature to review each change and judge whether it should be accepted or not.

The other approach to using the Track Changes tool is to give each member of your team a copy of the document. They are free to make changes, and they don't have to do so with Track Changes turned on. Then, the person responsible for producing the final document gathers each of the modified documents and "merges" them using the Compare Documents feature. (Again, this feature is part of the overall Track Changes part of Word.) Compare Documents combines two documents, resulting in a document that shows the differences between the two original documents. Once the merging process is done, with each of the team members' documents, then the responsible person can again use the Accept or Reject Changes feature to review each change and determine its acceptability.

If you decide to utilize the Track Changes feature of Word, and particularly if you decide to use the first approach, you may want to use the Comments feature to allow team members to insert their comments into the document. These comments shouldn't reflect the actual changes to the document (which should be done to the document itself with Track Changes turned on), but can contain general comments on why certain changes were made or just general comments on document development. In effect, the Comments feature becomes a way for the team members to provide input to the development process. The team member ultimately responsible for the document can then read the comments and resolve any issues contained therein.

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (534) 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: Multiple Document Users.

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 the Active Document from a Macro

When you process a document in a macro, you may also want to print that document from within the same macro. Here's how to do ...

Discover More

Determining Columns in a Range

If you need to know the number of columns in a particular range, you can use the COLUMNS worksheet function. This tip ...

Discover More

Applying Numbers from the Keyboard

Creating a numbered list is often done by using the tools available on the ribbon. With a bit of preparation you can create ...

Discover More

Learning Made Easy! Quickly teach yourself how to format, publish, and share your content using Word 2013. With Step by Step, you set the pace, building and practicing the skills you need, just when you need them! Check out Microsoft Word 2013 Step by Step today!

More WordTips (menu)

Printing Only Changed Pages

Turn Track Changes on, and you can easily see where you've made changes throughout a document. If you want to print only ...

Discover More

Select All Changes By a Particular Reviewer

The Track Changes feature in Word allows you and other editors to easily collaborate on the development of a document. If you ...

Discover More

Examining Tracked Changes in a Macro

The Track Changes feature in Word is very handy when you need to see what edits are made to a document. Using a macro you can ...

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 8 - 2?

2017-01-27 14:00:15

kari

Hi,
I have a documents with several track changes from multiple users. I want to combine my team changes, in one color and have my director comments in another. Is this possible? Two combine 3 author comments into one color and have the director comments in another? thanks.


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.