Use tracked changes

With tracked changes, multiple users can collaborate on a document, and each person's changes are tracked and displayed in a different color. However, the changes are not included in the document text until they are reviewed and accepted.

Do any of the following:

ShowTurn on track changes

When tracked changes are turned on, Word marks any changes that are made by any authors of the document. This is useful when you are collaborating with other authors because you can see which authors made a particular change.

  1. Open the document that you want to edit.
  2. On the Review tab, under Tracking, click the Track Changes switch to turn on track changes.

Review tab, Tracking group

 Tip   

  • Each reviewer's changes are displayed in a different color. If there are more than eight reviewers, colors are reused.
  • To assign a specific color to your own tracked changes, on the Word menu, click Preferences, and then under Output and Sharing, click Track Changes Word Tracked Changes Preferences button. In the Color boxes, select the color that you want.
  • The reviewer's name, the date and time that the change was made, and the kind of change that was made (for example, Deleted) also appear in the markup balloons (balloons: In print layout view or web layout view, balloons show markup elements, such as comments and tracked changes, in the margins of your document. You can use balloons to accept or reject changes made to a document.) for each change. If you're not displaying markup balloons, this information appears when you hover over a change.
  • The Highlight Changes options on the Tools > Track Changes menu (Highlight changes on screen, Highlight changes in printed document) and the options on the Review tab pop-up menu (Final Showing Markup, Final, Original Showing Markup, Original) are not saved settings. If you don't want tracked changes to display when you re-open the document, you need to accept or reject the changes. If you want a record of the revisions, save a copy of the document before accepting or rejecting changes.

ShowShow tracked changes or comments by type or by reviewer

You can show or hide a document's comments, formatting, insertions, and deletions or view comments for only the reviewers that you select.

  • On the Review tab, under Tracking, on the Show Markup pop-up menu, click the option that you want.

Review tab, Tracking group

 Tip   To display a shaded background behind the area where tracked changes or comments appear in the right margin, on the Show Markup pop-up menu, select Markup Area Highlight. This shaded area also prints with your document to help separate the document text from the tracked changes or comments.

ShowTurn off tracked changes in balloons

By default, insertions, deletions, comments, the reviewer's name, and a time stamp are displayed in balloons that appear in the margins of your document. You can change your settings to display tracked changes in the body of the document.

  1. On the Review tab, under Tracking, on the Show Markup pop-up menu, click Preferences.

Review tab, Tracking group

  1. Do one of the following:
To Do this
Display tracked changes in the body of the document instead of in balloons Clear the Use balloons to display changes check box.
Hide the reviewer's name and the time and date stamp in balloons Clear the Include reviewer, time stamp, and action buttons check box.

 Note   With balloons turned off, commented text is enclosed in brackets, highlighted by a color, and identified by the reviewer's initials. Comments appear in a small pop-up window when you rest the pointer over commented text, except when your document is in publishing layout view.

ShowChange the formatting of tracked changes

You can customize how revision mark (revision mark: A mark that shows where a deletion, insertion, or other editing change has been made in a document. Word can track changes by marking revisions as you make them, or by marking revisions when it compares two versions of a document.) appear and work in Word.

  1. On the Review tab, under Tracking, on the Show Markup pop-up menu, click Preferences.

Review tab, Tracking group

  1. Select the options that you want. The following table lists some frequently used formatting options.
To Do this
Change the color and other formatting that Word uses to identify changes Under Markup, select the formatting options that you want on the pop-up menus.
Indicate deletions without displaying the text that was deleted

Under Markup, on the Deletions pop-up menu, click # or ^.

Deleted text will be replaced with the character # or ^.

Alter the appearance of changed lines (changed lines: Vertical marks that appear next to text that has been added, deleted, or changed when change tracking is turned on. You can set preferences for the location and color of changed lines.) Under Markup, on the Changed lines and Colors pop-up menus, select the options that you want.
Track text that is moved Under Moves, click Track moves, and then on the Moved from, Moved to, and Color pop-up menus, select the options that you want.
Change the color that Word uses to mark changes that are made to table cells Under Table cell highlighting, on the Inserted cells, Deleted cells, Merged cells, and Split cells pop-up menus, select the options that you want.

ShowReview tracked changes and comments

You can review and accept or reject each tracked change in sequence, accept or reject all changes at one time, delete all comments at one time, or review the items that are created by a specific reviewer.

  1. If revision marks don't appear in the document, on the Tools menu, point to Track Changes, click Highlight Changes, and then select the Highlight changes on screen check box.
  2. Do one of the following:
To On the Review tab, do this Then do this
Review the next change Under Changes, click Next Click Accept or Reject.
Review the previous change Under Changes, click Previous Click Accept or Reject.
Accept all changes at one time Under Changes, click the arrow next to Accept Click Accept All Changes in Document.
Reject all changes at one time Under Changes, click the arrow next to Reject Click Reject All Changes in Document.
Delete all comments at one time Under Comments, click the arrow next to Delete Click Delete All Comments in Document.
Review items created by a specific reviewer Under Tracking, click Show Markup

Point to Reviewers, and then clear all check marks except the one next to the name of the reviewer whose changes you want to review.

To select or clear the check boxes for all reviewers in the list, click All Reviewers.

 Note   When you rest the pointer on a tracked change, a ScreenTip appears that displays the author's name, the date and time of the change, and the kind of change that was made.

ShowPrint tracked changes

Tracked changes can be useful to include in a printed version of a document.

  1. Open the document that contains the tracked changes that you want to print.
  2. On the File menu, click Print.
  3. On the Copies & Pages pop-up menu, click Microsoft Word.

 Tip   If you don't see the Copies & Pages pop-up menu, click the blue downward facing arrow to the right of the Printer pop-up menu.

  1. On the Print What pop-up menu, click Document showing markup.

See also

Insert, delete, or change a comment

 
 
Applies to:
Word for Mac 2011