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: Hiding Formatting Changes in Track Changes.

Hiding Formatting Changes in Track Changes

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated March 18, 2015)

Bob uses Track Changes quite a bit in his documents and finds it very useful—except for one thing. Bob finds it very distracting that formatting changes are called-out in the changes list. He wonders if there is a way to have Word not call out the formatting changes and only include all other types of changes, and to have this approach be the default for Track Changes.

There are actually a couple of ways you can approach this issue. First, when you turn on Track Changes, Word displays the Reviewing toolbar. You can control what changes Word displays on the screen by using the Show drop-down list. When you display the Show drop-down list, make sure that there is no check mark next to Formatting. With this option turned off, Word still tracks formatting changes behind-the-scenes, but it doesn't display those changes.

If you'd rather that Word didn't even keep track of formatting changes at all, then you can follow 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. Using the Formatting drop-down list, select None.
  5. Click OK.

These steps are "sticky," meaning that you only need to do them once. Word remembers your choice and won't keep track of formatting changes in the future.

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (10685) 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: Hiding Formatting Changes in Track Changes.

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

Rounding to Two Significant Digits

Excel provides a variety of functions you can use to round values in any number of ways. It does not, however, provide a way ...

Discover More

Contingent Validation Lists

Data validation can be used to create lists of choices for entry into a particular cell. Using the techniques in this tip you ...

Discover More

Getting a Conditional Count of Cells Containing Values

Excel provides several worksheet functions that can be used to count cells containing values—particularly numeric ...

Discover More

Do More in Less Time! Are you ready to harness the full power of Word 2013 to create professional documents? In this comprehensive guide you'll learn the skills and techniques for efficiently building the documents you need for your professional and your personal life. Check out Word 2013 In Depth today!

More WordTips (menu)

Tracked Changes Won't Go Away

Track Changes is a great tool when editing a document, but the ways that it affects your document can sometimes be confusing. ...

Discover More

Accepting All Formatting Changes

Tired of wading through a bunch of formatting changes when you have Track Changes turned on? Here's how to accept all those ...

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 9 - 2?

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.