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 June 9, 2018)

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

Setting a Default for Shifting when Inserting

When you insert cells into a worksheet, Excel needs to know which direction it should shift the displaced cells. If you ...

Discover More

Adding an Ellipsis to the Beginning of Some Paragraphs

The Find and Replace feature of Word is very powerful. You can even use it to add a unique character to the beginning of ...

Discover More

Forcing Manual Calculation For a Workbook

If you have a large, complex workbook, you may want to make sure that it is always calculated manually instead of ...

Discover More

The First and Last Word on Word! Bestselling For Dummies author Dan Gookin puts his usual fun and friendly candor back to work to show you how to navigate Word 2013. Spend more time working and less time trying to figure it all out! Check out Word 2013 For Dummies today!

More WordTips (menu)

Deleting Table Columns with Track Changes Turned On

If you are editing a document with Track Changes turned on, Word won't let you delete a column in a table and have it ...

Discover More

Showing Only Added Text with Track Changes

Do you want to change how Track Changes displays the markup in your document? Here's how you can completely hide deleted ...

Discover More

Printing without Track Changes Marks

If your document has a lot of markup visible in it, you may want to print a copy of the document that doesn't reflect ...

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 seven more 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.