copyright © 2006
Chris Whitehouse, Cornwall, UK
updated: 3rd January 2010

Track Changes

In Microsoft Word, you can use the Track Changes facility to record every insertion, deletion, or formatting change that I (or other reviewers) make in your document. As the client, you will have the option to view all the amendments made. To start the track-changing, someone will need to select TRACK CHANGES in the TOOLS menu of the menubar usually found at the top of the screen.

On-screen reviewing
In Microsoft Word (I will use Windows XP as an example), to view (or hide) these tracked changes, it is best to be in the normal print layout view. Go to the menu bar and select 'VIEW' and then select 'MARK UP' from the drop-down menu. Newly added text will show up underlined and in a different colour, while deleted text will be shown in the margin.

print screen of track changes
At the top, you can see the options that are offered when clicking SHOW on the REVIEWING toolbar. You can select to see (or not see) changes made by either of the reviewers, Chris Whitehouse or Peter Smith. Also, note that in the main text of the document, edits by Peter are marked in blue (Peter deleted the word 'at' and replaced it with 'in'), while the other edits, by Chris, show up in red.

Printing out for review
If you want to print out the document with the tracked changes visible, then go to the menu bar and select FILE, then select PRINT from the drop-down menu. In the window that comes up, find the PRINT WHAT box (where normally you'd find the word DOCUMENT), and select DOCUMENT WITH MARKUP from the drop-down menu.

print screen of track changes
By right-clicking on an edit, you are given the option to accept the edit and thereby remove the red colour on the screen, or you can reject the edit, and the insertion will be removed.

Accepting or rejecting previous edits
If you want to check through all the changes I have made for you, then you can accept or reject my changes by putting the mouse on the text, right-clicking your mouse, and selecting either ACCEPT INSERTION (or deletion or whatever) or REJECT. Even more easily, you can use the reviewing buttons in your toolbar; this allows you also to accept or reject all the changes in a single step. If this toolbar is not visible on your screen, then go to TOOLS and select CUSTOMISE, and then in the box that shows up, select the TOOLBARS bars tab, and then scroll down until you see REVIEWING. Put a tick in the check-box, and the icons you need will come up. If you want to accept (or reject) all the changes made in one go, then go to the ACCEPT CHANGE (or REJECT CHANGE) button, and click on the little arrow to the right of the button, where you will see the option to ACCEPT (or REJECT) ALL CHANGES IN THE DOCUMENT.

If you are using older versions of word, it is actually a bit easier in my opinion. When you go to TOOLS and select TRACK CHANGES, a box shows up that gives you all the options you need.

More things you can do
If you want to see ONLY the changes I have made (or that Peter Smith has made), or you want to see all the changes EXCEPT the formatting changes, or ONLY the fomatting changes, then go to the REVIEWING toolbar (as explained above) and make your selection from the SHOW option. If we are working together on a document, to and fro, to and fro, it can also make your life easier if I change my identity each day, so you can choose to see only those changes I made today, or only those I made e.g. last Wednesday. (I can change my identity by going to TOOLS, OPTIONS and then changing my name in the USER INFORMATION section.)

Finalising your document to remove all evidence of past edits
Remember, if you are anxious that no one should see the editing history of your document, it is not enough to de-select VIEW MARKUP. Anyone else viewing the document electronically would be able to re-select it, and see all the changes that have been made. It is best to save your document with a new name, then select ACCEPT ALL CHANGES and no one (even you) will be able to see your editing history.

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