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How to Use Track Changes in Microsoft Word (PC and Mac)

August 10, 2023 1.4K views

Track Changes in Microsoft Word is essential for collaborative editing and reviewing, but its usage can be challenging. This guide tackles these issues by offering a comprehensive solution. With step-by-step instructions and valuable tips, you can maximize the power of Track Changes for efficient document management and collaboration.

Introduction: Mastering Track Changes in Microsoft Word (PC and Mac)

You've come to the right place if you're a writer looking to enhance your understanding of utilizing Track Changes in Microsoft Word. This post offers a comprehensive guide that will walk you through the simple steps necessary to effectively navigate and make the most of the powerful features of Track Changes.

Whether you use a Windows PC or Mac, this step-by-step tutorial covers everything from enabling your track changes settings, reviewing input from co-authors on a document, and accepting and rejecting revisions made by others — to creating an archived version with tracked changes included. Read on to learn how it's done!

Track Changes in Microsoft Word

Now that you have a foundational understanding of Track Changes in Word, let's explore its usage in more detail.

How to Track Changes in Word

  • How to turn on Track Changes in Word: To enable Track Changes, go to the "Review" tab and click on "Track Changes." Alternatively, press "Ctrl + Shift + E" to toggle the feature on and off.

  • How to turn off Track Changes in Word: To turn off Track Changes, click on the "Review" tab and click "Track Changes" to deselect it. Press "Ctrl + Shift + E" again to turn off the feature.

  • How to remove Track Changes in Word: To remove tracked changes from a document, go to the "Review" tab and click on "Accept" or "Reject" to review each change. Once you have reviewed all the changes, you can select "Accept All Changes" or "Reject All Changes" to remove all tracked changes from the document.

  • How to use Track Changes in Word on Mac: To use Track Changes in Word on a Mac, go to the "Review" tab and click on "Track Changes." Press "Command + Shift + E" to enable the feature.

  • How to use Track Changes in Word in red: To modify the color of tracked changes in Microsoft Word, follow these steps: First, navigate to the "Review" tab. Next, click the drop-down menu beside "Track Changes" and select "Change Tracking Options." In the dialog box that appears, you can choose a new color for the tracked changes according to your preference.

  • How to use Track Changes in Word 2016: To activate the Track Changes feature in Word 2016, navigate to the "Review" tab and click "Track Changes." Alternatively, you can use the shortcut "Ctrl + Shift + E" to enable the feature.

  • How to add comments to tracked changes in Word: To add comments to a tracked change, select the shift and click "New Comment." You can then type your comment in the space provided and click "Reply" to add the comment to the document.

Why Use Track Changes?

Track Changes is a powerful tool that provides a clear overview of modifications made to a document, making it highly useful for collaboration and seeking feedback from other colleagues.

Moreover, it enables document owners to maintain greater control over the document's final version by accepting or rejecting changes made. This feature is particularly helpful in a professional environment where multiple stakeholders work on the same document and need to review changes made by others.

With this tool, changes can be made easily and with minimum disruption to the original document. The tool enhances productivity and speeds up the editing process, allowing colleagues to focus on the most important aspects of the document.

Furthermore, Track Changes provides an audit trail of all changes, ensuring transparency and accountability in the collaboration process.

MS Word Online document

How to Turn Track Changes On and Off?

How to Turn on Track Changes in Word?

Knowing how to turn on Track Changes in Word is the first step to collaborating effectively on a document. Here are the steps to activate Track Changes in Word:

  • Step 1: Open your document in Microsoft Word.

  • Step 2: To access the "Review" tab in Microsoft Word, click on it in the ribbon at the top of the screen.

  • Step 3: In the "Tracking" section of the ribbon, click the "Track Changes" button.

  • Step 4: A drop-down menu will appear. Click on "Track Changes" once again.

  • Step 5: Alternatively, you can use the shortcut key Ctrl + Shift + E to turn on Track Changes quickly.

Once Track Changes is enabled, any edits to the document will be highlighted and visible to collaborators.

How to Turn Off Track Changes in Word?

If you need to disable Track Changes in Word, follow these straightforward steps:

  • Step 1: To access the "Review" tab, locate and click on the corresponding tab in the ribbon at the top of the screen.

  • Step 2: In the "Tracking" section of the ribbon, click the "Track Changes" button.

  • Step 3: The button will be highlighted if Track Changes is enabled. Click on the button to disable Track Changes.

  • Step 4: Alternatively, you can use the shortcut key Ctrl + Shift + E to turn off Track Changes quickly.

It is important to turn off Track Changes before you finalize a document and share it with others. That way, changes made by collaborators won't be visible, and your final document will look polished and professional.

How to Add or Delete Comments in Word: A Helpful Guide

Adding comments to a document is an essential feedback mechanism that enables collaboration and makes it easier to keep track of changes made. What's great about Word is that you can add comments without necessarily allowing Track Changes. This guide will provide step-by-step instructions and screenshots on how to add and delete comments in Word.

Adding Comments in Word

  • Step 1: First, highlight the text where you want to insert a comment by clicking and dragging the cursor over the desired section. Alternatively, you can place the cursor where the comment appears.

  • Step 2: Next, navigate to the "Review" tab on the top ribbon and click on the "New Comment" icon on the right side of the toolbar.

  • Step 3: A comment box will appear on the right side of the document alongside your highlighted text. Type in your comment, and press "Enter" to submit. Your comment will now have a colored balloon with a number indicating the position on the document.

  • Step 4: If you want to edit or reply to a comment, click on the corresponding balloon and select "Edit" or "Reply."

Deleting Comments in Word

  • Step 1: Select the comment you want to remove by clicking on its balloon.

  • Step 2: To remove a comment in Microsoft Word, go to the "Review" tab and click the "Delete" icon on the toolbar. Alternatively, you can right-click on the comment and choose "Delete Comment."

  • Step 3: A prompt will appear to remove the selected comment, asking for confirmation. Simply click on "Yes" to proceed with the deletion.

Tracking Changes with Multiple Users: How to Track Changes in Word

When working on a collaborative document in Microsoft Word, tracking changes made by different authors is crucial to ensure that the final document is accurate and error-free.

Fortunately, Word offers several options to help users track changes made by multiple authors and distinguish them in a single document. Let's explore how to track changes in Word, understand how changes made by different authors are distinguished in a document, and how to display revisions by specific authors using the "Show Tags" settings.

How to Track Changes in a Word Document?

Click the "Review" tab in the menu bar to track changes in a Word document. In the "Tracking" section, click "Track Changes" to turn it on. Whenever any change is made to the document, it will be marked with a colored underline or a colored balloon, signifying the author who made the change. You can choose to display the changes in balloons, inline, or both, depending on the version of Word you are using.

How to Use Tracking Changes in Word with Multiple Authors?

When multiple people are working on a document, it's important to distinguish changes made by different authors. In Word, changes made by other authors are characterized by different colors based on who made the change. For example, if author A makes a change, it will be highlighted in red, while if author B makes a change, it will be highlighted in blue.

How to Display Revisions by Specific Authors Using the "Show Tags" Settings?

To display revisions by specific authors using the "Show Tags" settings, follow the steps below:

  • Click the "Review" tab in the menu bar.

  • Click "Show Markup" in the "Tracking" section.

  • Click the drop-down arrow next to "Show Markup" and select "Specific People."

  • In the "Show Markup" section, select the name(s) of the author(s) whose changes you want to display.

  • To apply the changes, click "OK."

  • Word will now display only the changes made by the selected author(s) and hide the changes made by other authors.

How to Track Changes in Word Online

Tracking changes in Word Online can be a powerful tool for collaboration. Here are some detailed instructions to help you maximize this feature.

Starting A New Document Or Opening An Existing One

To start a new document in Word Online, simply login to your Microsoft account and select the New Document button. If you're opening an existing document, select the document from your list of saved files.

Once you're in the document, select the Review tab at the top of the screen. You can turn on Track Changes by selecting the Track Changes button. You can then choose whether to track changes for everyone or just yourself.

Tips And Tricks For Effective Use Of Track Changes

Here are some tips for using track changes effectively in Word Online:

  • Use Colors: In the reviewing pane, you can customize the colors representing changes made to the document by different users. This can make it easier to track changes at a glance.

  • Use Comments: Instead of just changing text, you can add comments to suggest changes or ask questions. Use comments to provide additional context to your changes.

  • Accept and Reject Changes: After reviewing all the changes made to a document, you can accept or reject them. This allows you to keep only the changes you want in the final version of the file.

How to Turn Off Track Changes in Word Online

If you want to turn off Track Changes in Word Online, go back to the Review tab and select Track Changes again. You can then choose to turn off tracking for yourself or everyone.

How to Remove Track Changes in Word Online

To remove track changes in your Word Online document, select the Review tab and then select the Accept button to accept all changes. This will remove any track changes from the file.

WPS Office

Recommended Use of WPS Office for Tracking Changes in Word

Tracking changes with Microsoft Word can be daunting, especially when working collaboratively on a document. That's where WPS Office comes in. Here are some advantages of using WPS Office for tracking changes in Word.

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  • Simplicity And Convenience

WPS Office offers a simple and intuitive interface for tracking changes in Word documents. You can easily turn the tracking changes feature on and off with just a few clicks. This functionality proves particularly beneficial when collaborating with a large team on a shared document, as it allows you to easily identify the contributors, track their modifications, and view the timestamps for each change.

Additionally, WPS Office offers a cloud-based service, which means you can synchronize your document between the local client and the online version. You can view your document anytime, anywhere, and with any device. This feature also helps if you accidentally delete your document, as you can quickly restore it from the cloud.

  • Tracking Changes In Word

WPS Office also offers several features that can enhance your document-tracking capabilities. You can track changes in Word documents on both PC and Mac.

  • Moreover, WPS Office enables you to track changes in red, an excellent way to highlight significant edits.

  • You can use tracking changes in Word 2016 and later versions.

  • You can add comments to your document and track changes simultaneously, saving time and effort.

FAQs About Track Changes in Word

Can Everyone See The Tracked Changes In Word?

By default, the tracked changes are visible to everyone accessing the document. However, you can protect the tracked changes with a password or restrict editing to specific users to control who can see them.

Where Are The Track Changes In Word 11?

Word 11 refers to the Word 2003 version, an older version. Word 2003's Track Changes feature is under the "Tools" menu. To turn the feature on or off, click the "Track Changes" button.

Can You See Track Changes After Accepting?

You can still see the tracked changes after accepting them. However, they will become part of the document and no longer be visible as tracked changes. If you want to record the accepted changes, save a copy of the document with tracked changes.

Wrapping Up

This guide has provided comprehensive instructions and valuable tips for effectively managing collaborative document editing with Microsoft Word's Track Changes feature. This powerful tool enables writers to navigate co-author input, accept or reject revisions, and create an archived version with tracked changes.

Another advantage is the seamless integration with WPS Office, a complete suite of office productivity tools, including Writer, compatible with Microsoft Word's Track Changes feature. With WPS Office, you can effortlessly track changes on both Windows and Mac operating systems, easily toggle track changes settings, remove tracked changes, and utilize tracking changes technology effectively.

Mastering Track Changes in Microsoft Word and using WPS Office is crucial for enhancing collaboration, efficient document review, and maintaining a comprehensive record of edits. Remember the tips and solutions provided in this guide to maximize productivity when collaborating on future documents.

15 years of office industry experience, tech lover and copywriter. Follow me for product reviews, comparisons, and recommendations for new apps and software.