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: Pasting Text with Track Changes.
by Allen Wyatt
(last updated April 23, 2015)
One of the Word features commonly used by editors is the Track Changes feature. You may have need, from time to time, to copy text from one document to another and retain the change marks in the text being copied. For instance, if the text in the source document has some words struck through and some others highlighted as inserts, you may want the text to appear the same way in the target document. Getting the desired results is not a matter of simply cutting and pasting, though.
If you are using Word 97, there is a "bug" in the software that doesn't allow you to copy and paste properly when the text includes tracked changes. The way around this problem is to follow these steps:
That's it. You need to delete the bookmark (steps 10 and 11) because Word copies the bookmark name from the source document, along with the bookmarked text, and the change notations are in place. In addition, the bookmarked text in the source file is still there; it has not been deleted.
If you are using a later version of Word, the Word 97 "bug" has been fixed, but you still need to follow some explicit steps to get the desired results:
Another handy way to copy the text is to use the spike. Word users are so familiar with using the Clipboard to cut, copy, and paste information that we often forget about the spike. This is an area of Word that acts like a secondary Clipboard, with some significant differences. (You can learn more about the spike in other issues of WordTips or in Word's online Help.) To use the spike to copy and paste text with Track Changes markings intact, follow these steps:
WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (1783) 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: Pasting Text with Track Changes.
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